Sedation Dentistry at the Office of Kevin M. Christ, DMD

IF YOU ARE AFRAID OF THE DENTIST, WE CAN HELP!

Do you feel anxious about your dental appointments? Are you afraid of the dentist? Do you have trouble tolerating dental treatment, because of physical or emotional disabilities? Would you like to have a set of dental procedures performed in a single visit? Do you need your wisdom teeth extracted?

We have the answer to these problems...sedation dentistry! We offer 3 levels of sedation for dentistry and they are:

  • Laughing gas / nitrous oxide (Inhalation Sedation which helps with dental cleanings and exams)
  • Conscious sedation / oral sedation (take a pill before your dental appointments)
  • IV sedation dentistry (full-scale anesthesia)

We’d love to help you get out of pain and regain your dental health so you can be smiling again!

THREE METHODS OF SEDATION USED IN OUR OFFICE

The office of Kevin M. Christ, DMD uses three types of Sedation for the comfort of our patients.

First, we offer Inhalation Conscious Sedation, Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation also known as “laughing gas”. This is the most frequently used sedation method used in dentistry. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on their own. The patient is more relaxed and may fall asleep and experience some degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment.

Secondly, we offer External Conscious Sedation. ‘Orally Administered Sedation’ is administered by taking a pill. All body functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on their own. The patient will often fall asleep. Some degree of amnesia is common. The disadvantage with this method of sedation is that the level of sedation for each person is not predictable or controllable. For some patients, this type of sedation may be ineffective.

The third type of sedation we offer is IV Sedation, also known as Deep Conscious Sedation, and is commonly used by Oral Surgeons and Anesthesiologists. We have a state of the art specialized operatory room for our Sedation patients with the latest in technology and comfort, including a massage dental chair! Our office utilizes the services of a board-certified Anesthesiologist, who administers anesthesia and monitors patients while Dr. Christ is performing the dental procedures.

With this type of sedation, medications are administered directly into the bloodstream. This is not a General Anesthesia. The patient can communicate and is breathing on their own. The greatest advantage of IV Sedation is that if someone is not sedated enough, the doctor can administer more medication and the effects are immediate. The drugs used for IV Sedation are more effective than the same drugs taken orally. There is a more profound amnesia associated with this technique and better control.

Before IV sedation, Dr. Kevin M. Christ, DMD conducts a comprehensive dental exam, which includes a review of your medical history. If necessary, he will consult with your physician to make sure you are a good candidate before performing IV sedation.

During sedation, Dr. Kevin M. Christ, DMD will closely monitor you, along with the use of electronic equipment that shows blood pressure, heart rate, the amount of oxygen in your blood, and often your heart function on an EKG monitor. You and the person taking you home will receive post-treatment and home care instructions, including what you should eat and drink before being released. It is usually okay to resume eating and drinking after getting home, provided the numbness from the local anesthesia has worn off. Drinking water is important after sedation since you will have been without food or water for several hours. If there is any soreness after surgery keep off the affected areas until they feel comfortable.

If pain medication is necessary it is usually best to use over-the-counter non- narcotic medications such as Tylenol, aspirin or Ibuprofen, or prescription- strength medication. Medications like codeine or hydrocodone that keep sedative effects are not advised.

Medication Used for Intravenous (IV) Sedation:

Medications range but the most popular class of medication used for IV sedation in Dr. Kevin M. Christ’s office is known as benzodiazepines, which are defined as any of a class of heterocyclic organic compounds used as tranquilizers.

Some surgical procedures may be performed under local or regional anesthesia. Local anesthesia involves injecting an anesthetic directly surrounding the operative site, whereas regional anesthesia involves injecting an anesthetic in proximity to the sensory nerves supplying the operative site. Regional anesthesia includes spinal and epidural anesthesia, as well as various peripheral nerve blocks, which can be used to anesthetize virtually any area of the body. While these techniques are generally extremely effective in controlling pain, they are often supplemented with sedation or a general anesthetic to enhance patient comfort during surgery. Additional benefits of local or regional anesthesia include enhancement of postoperative pain control.