I LOVE dentistry!! I love what I do….but I know many of my patients don’t love it as much as I do. That is why I devoted 2 extra years of training after dental school to a residency program during which I became certified to offer intravenous (IV) sedation dentistry. Having added that treatment modality to my repertoire of services has been the greatest gift to my practice and my patients. Let me explain.
Many people have a terrific fear of dentistry. Maybe it’s the sound of the drill, the fear of injections, or maybe the smell of the dental office. Well, we’ve done everything we can to mitigate those concerns; from offering headphones during procedures, to careful injection techniques to minimize discomfort, to diffusion of high quality essential oils to both disinfect the office and eliminate the typical odors of a dental office.
However, there are still many people whose apprehension and stress over dental procedures has kept them away from the office for far too long. That only serves to heighten their anxiety as they now worry that since it has been so long they will have extensive dental needs and they end up in a never ending circle of stress and dental breakdown. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I love being able to offer patients the option of IV sedation dentistry. Being able to take the anxiety away and have a patient wake up with their dentistry done is so gratifying. What is unique about our practice is that I am a general dentist. I do it all, from simple cleanings to fillings, to dental implants and wisdom tooth removal. We even have special technology, called CEREC, that allows us to fabricate full porcelain crowns and veneers in a single visit, so literally patients can rest through having their dentistry completely done.
What is even more gratifying is when we get a patient over that initial hump of fear and anxiety and do the “heavy lifting” of complex dentistry and then become comfortable enough with myself and my wonderful staff that they allow us to do their more “routine” visits and check ups without any medication. That is truly the greatest gift.
Many people ask me about the difference between IV sedation and other forms of relaxation: oral medications or laughing gas. Both of those alternative options are great. Most offices offer them as their treatment option because the dentist doesn’t have the extra certifications necessary for true IV sedation.
A significant difference though between oral and IV sedation though is that oral medications are less predictable. They require digestion to be processed. That means we have less control over the effects of the medication. One person may require much more medication than another. When a pill is administered the effects aren’t known for 45-60 minutes so you can see how it can be tough to control a patient’s sedation. With IV sedation on the other hand, we know instantaneously the effects of the medication since we are dispensing it directly into the blood. We, thus, have much more direct control over the effects, impact and procedure.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the treatment options. Please know we are not here to judge, but to be a resource for oral and overall health and well-being.