Serving Houston, Sugar Land, Pasadena & Nearby Areas Of Texas
If the thought of visiting the dentist makes you anxious, you’re not alone. Patients frequently avoid surgeries, put off cleanings, and postpone other treatments that can improve their oral health. But with sedation dentistry, there’s no need to be afraid of the dentist any longer.
Dr. Heather Fleschler is pleased to offer two sedation dentistry options to her patients to take the fear out of going to the dentist. To find out which option is best for you, please call 713-660-6500 today to schedule an appointment with our West University sedation dentist.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
As the name implies, sedation dentistry is the practice of performing dental procedures on a patient who has received a sedative agent. Sedatives suppress the normal activity of the parts of the central nervous system associated with consciousness and awareness to help patients feel calm and relaxed.
What Are The Advantages Of Sedation Dentistry?
Dental professionals have long relied on sedation for invasive procedures like tooth extraction, root canal therapy, and placement of dental implants. But dentists increasingly offer sedation to patients who experience so much anxiety that they might otherwise avoid checkups, cleanings, and other procedures.
Sedation dentistry offers patients many benefits:
- Patient relaxation and comfort
- Suppression of gag reflex
- Virtually no memory of the treatment
- Ability to undergo multiple procedures at one time
And when you are relaxed and comfortable, Dr. Fleschler is able to perform dental procedures much more efficiently. Many patients who have difficulty sitting still or require a large amount of dental work find that sedation dentistry lets them get in and out of the dentist’s office much more quickly than if they were fully conscious.
Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Many people are great candidates for sedation dentistry. You don't have to have had a previous bad experience or harbor significant dental anxiety to receive sedation during your visit. Sometimes, sedation is helpful simply because it's difficult to sit still for a longer appointment or there is a muscular disorder that causes restlessness or twitching. In most situations, one of our two forms of sedation can be ideal. These techniques are not approved for women who are pregnant and may not be suitable for individuals with chronic respiratory disease ro sleep apnea. You should be in generally good health to receive dental sedation with the lowest risk possible.
What Treatments Can Sedation Dentistry be Used For?
The use of dental sedation is not limited to any particular treatment. The purpose of sedation is to relax your nervous system. You may feel anxious about getting a root canal or you may find it difficult to receive a dental filling. Whatever the procedure that causes you to feel anxious or afraid, it's a procedure for which sedation may be ideal. Before your appointment for dental treatment, give our office a call! We're happy to prepare in advance to help you feel as comfortable as possible. This minor step can make an enormous difference in how you experience your dental care.
Will it also Relieve Pain?
Sedation dentistry offers a number of benefits. Pain relief is one of them. In this case, sedation does not act as an analgesic. It's more of a complementary service that augments the effects of the local numbing medication your dentist administers.
How Long Do the Effects of Sedation Last?
This depends on the type of sedative you choose. If your appointment involves the use of nitrous oxide, you will feel completely normal by the time you leave the office. Nitrous oxide is referred to as inhalation sedation. Because you breathe it in, it works very quickly. Because you breathe it in, it also diminishes very quickly when you stop breathing it. As your procedure comes to an end, we'll decrease the amount of nitrous oxide you're receiving and will increase the oxygen that is delivered. This wipes out the nitrous oxide from your system within minutes. You can safely drive home after receiving this form of sedation because its effects are so temporary. Oral conscious sedation, on the other hand, can affect your alertness for up to several hours. Oral conscious sedation does not put you to sleep but it can make you somewhat groggy or slow to respond to stimulation. For this reason, it's necessary to have someone accompany you to your appointment so they can drive you home. We don't recommend engaging in any important activities until the day after receiving oral conscious sedation.
Are There Any Side Effects to Sedation Dentistry?
You may experience minor side effects after receiving dental sedation. These include headache, dry mouth, grogginess, and a general foggy feeling. If side effects occur, they are usually mild and last no longer than about 12 hours.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?
Sedation dentistry can be safe for children. However, because the risk of adverse effects may be slightly higher, the use of sedation is very carefully considered and used only when absolutely necessary. That said, Dr. Fleschler also offers NuCalm, an all-natural alternative to sedation dentistry. This system may be very well suited to younger patients. If your child has a difficult time sitting still for dental exams and treatments or feels very anxious and fearful about seeing the dentist, please don't hesitate to give our office a call. We're happy to talk to you about the various ways in which we can help alleviate their emotional discomfort!
Sedation Dentistry Options
Dr. Fleschler offers the following sedation dentistry options:
- Oral conscious sedation: In this kind of sedation, you take oral sedative medications the night before and immediately prior to undergoing a dental procedure. Because the medication is internally absorbed, you’ll continue to feel drowsy for a period of time after your procedure, so you’ll need to ask a friend or family member to take you home.
- Nitrous oxide sedation: Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a colorless, odorless gas that encourages relaxation. The mechanism by which nitrous oxide works is immediate, which means you’ll begin to relax as soon as you inhale it through the nasal mask. After your procedure, you’ll return to normal consciousness as soon as the mask is removed, so there’s no residual drowsiness.
Dr. Fleschler also offers NuCalm, an all-natural alternative to sedation dentistry that will provide you with a more relaxed and comfortable dental experience.
If fear and anxiety have kept you from visiting the dentist, now is the time to discover how sedation dentistry can improve your oral health comfortably and conveniently. Please contact Dr. Heather Fleschler online or by calling 713-660-6500 today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Fleschler proudly serves patients in the Houston, Texas areas of West University, Bellaire, Meyerland, and River Oaks