Dream Dental Paul H. Kim, DDS
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Sedation Dentistry

Woman calmly sleeping in the dentist chair

Do you dread visiting the dentist? Do you have extreme anxiety about your routine dental cleaning? If so, then dental sedation may be an ideal option for you. Dental sedation is anxiety-free dentistry that will keep you calm and relaxed during your dental procedure. It can be used for people with dental anxiety, as well as for those who may need to undergo slightly more invasive procedures. Depending on your individual situation, there are varying levels of dental sedation ranging from light to deep. Dream Dental offers the following dental sedation options:

Inhaled Sedation:

Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is inhaled through a nasal mask before and during your procedure. It can achieve a light to medium sedative effect depending on how much gas is used. Nitrous oxide will allow you to be aware of what is going on, but indifferent and calm about the situation. Some people even report feeling slightly euphoric while under nitrous oxide.

Oral Sedation:

A Halcion pill is taken the night before and the morning of your dental appointment. Depending on the dosage, oral sedation yields a light to medium sedative effect and will make you feel drowsy. However, you will still be conscious or easy to awaken from a light sleep.

IV Sedation:

Sedation is offered directly through an IV inserted in your vein. This is the most effective and deepest level of sedation available because it is immediately absorbed into your body and it can be regulated. With IV sedation, you may be conscious but drowsy, or completely unconscious.

Did you know…

About 10% of the American population has dental phobia severe enough to prevent them from regular dental care and 75% of the population has some form of dental anxiety. Dental sedation is a way to reduce your dental fears and anxieties to ensure that you get the routine dental care you need in a comfortable way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for dental sedation?

Ideal candidates for dental sedation are individuals who have dental anxiety, an active gag reflex, trouble sitting still for long periods of time, or who are undergoing an invasive dental procedure.

However, dental sedation does have some limitations and may not be ideal for everyone. Certain medical conditions, allergies, and medications can increase the risk of dental sedation. Because of this, a thorough consultation will be conducted by Dr. Kim prior to administering any form of dental sedation.

To find out if dental sedation is a safe and effective option for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul H. Kim of Dream Dental today!

How do I prepare for my dental sedation appointment?

Before your dental sedation appointment, Dr. Kim will discuss the specific preparations you will need to follow depending on the type of dental sedation you are planning to have. You will likely be asked to fast for a designated amount of time before your appointment. For inhaled sedation, usually only a two hour fast is required. However, oral sedation will require you to fast for at least 6 hours and IV sedation usually requires an 8 hour fast. If you are not sure which sedation method you will end up using, you will likely be asked to fast for the longest time span.

Woman taking a sleeping pill before bedtime

With oral sedation, you will also be given instructions on when to take the oral medication. In some cases, the medication is only needed the morning of your appointment, but in other cases it may also be needed the night before. If you are taking the medication the night before or before arriving at our office, you will need to find a driver to bring you to and from your appointment because you will not be able to drive safely.

IV sedation also requires that you have a driver to take you home afterwards. Additionally, you may need to avoid taking certain medications the morning of your procedure. Since IV sedation requires an 8 hour fast, most procedures using IV sedation are scheduled for the morning to make the 8 hour fast easier.

What should I expect during my dental sedation appointment at Dream Dental?

Nitrous oxide face mask used for sedation dentistry

During your dental sedation appointment at Dream Dental, you can expect to feel completely calm and anxiety-free while your dental work is performed. While under dental sedation, most people report feelings of calmness, drowsiness, and even euphoria (in the case of nitrous oxide). Additionally, you will likely be aware of what is happening around you, however you will be indifferent to the sights, smells, and sounds you are experiencing. Dental sedation is usually used in combination with dental anesthetics, which means you also won’t feel any pain or discomfort during your procedure.

Sometimes with nitrous oxide, you may feel dizzy. However, this dizziness can quickly be fixed by reducing the concentration of the gas. With oral or IV sedation, you may also fall into a light sleep, but you can easily be woken. Finally, with IV sedation, you may or may not remember your procedure.

What can I expect after my dental sedation appointment at Dream Dental?

You may experience different things after your dental sedation appointment. If you used oral sedation, you will essentially bounce right back to your normal self once the gas is turned off. Nitrous oxide is a popular sedation choice because of this, and you can even drive yourself home afterwards because there are no residual effects.

With oral sedation, you can expect to feel the full effect of the medicine for about 1-2 hours. However, even once the full effect has worn off, you may still feel slightly drowsy and “out of it” for the rest of the day. Because of this, you will need to have someone drive you home and you should rest for the remainder of the day.

With IV sedation, you can expect to feel pretty groggy and “out of it” for the majority of the day after your procedure. Because of this, you will need to have someone drive you home and keep an eye on you for at least a day until the effects of the sedation have worn off.

Dream Dental is committed to providing an exceptional dental experience to patients in Torrance, Palos Verdes, Gardena, and the surrounding South Bay areas. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul H. Kim today to see what Invisalign can do for your smile!

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