Category Archives: Sedation Dentistry

Afraid of being sedated by a new dentist but I need 2 crowns

I know that sedation dentistry is probably the best thing for me, but my current dentist doesn’t offer it. I just can’t relax in her office. It’s not her. It’s me.

I have to switch dentists because she doesn’t offer sedation. I need 2 new crowns and I’ve put it off for too long. Now there is a problem of letting a complete stranger sedate me. It’s part of my fear and I know that I am going to have to get over it. There has to be a first time.

What can I do to get over the fear of having a new dentist sedate me? I don’t want to go into the office and make a fool of myself because of my fear. Thank. L.E.

L.E.

Sedation dentists are used to seeing fearful patients, so don’t worry how your anxiety will be perceived by the dentist or their staff. Your anxiety is common among millions of Americans.

How to Choose a Sedation Dentist

  • Before you choose a new sedation dentist, have consultations with a few dentists who have been recommended by friends or family members, or with whom you think you may be comfortable.
  • Speak with each dentist about your fears. Find out what he or she does to help anxious patients relax and what levels of sedation are offered.
  • Meet the staff, take an office tour, and become familiar with the office.
  • After you have chosen a dentist, if you are still very uncomfortable, continue to ask questions and talk about your concerns until you feel comfortable. Don’t proceed with getting dental crowns before you are comfortable.

Receiving sedation will be easier if the dentist is no longer a stranger to you and you know what will be done to help you relax and have a pain-free experience.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

Can I Insist on a Female Sedation Dentist?

I need to have my wisdom teeth pulled and I plan to see a sedation dentist for it. I already have a dentist and I think she’s awesome, but she won’t sedate me for the procedure. Actually, she doesn’t even provide any kind of gas or anything. I even asked her if she’d just prescribe something for me to help take the edge off during the procedure and she won’t even do that much. I’m really disappointed because I already know and trust her, but it’s her practice, and her rules, I guess. So, instead of pulling my wisdom teeth, she gave me referrals to a couple different sedation dentists. Actually, I think these guys are oral surgeons who just happen to provide sedation services as well. Anyway, I feel kind of bad saying this, but I’m not comfortable with male doctors. I’m not saying they’re bad or dangerous or anything like that. I’d just feel better if my doctor was a woman, especially if I’m going to be sedated. Again, I don’t think a male doctor would do anything bad, I just feel more comfortable with a female physician, especially for something like this.

Here’s where the problem comes in- she referred me to a couple different oral surgeons and told me I could choose one, but they’re all men. I called my insurance company to see where I could go, and then I asked them if they could tell me which ones were women. Instead of helping me, the insurance agent gave me a hard time about it saying, “Their credentials are the same. What does it matter?” Well, it matters to me. A lot. I don’t think I should be made to feel bad just because I want to see a female doctor. I’ve called around to most of the offices on my list and it looks like they’re all men. Seriously. Are there no female oral surgeons?!?

What are my options here? Is it ok that I’m insisting on seeing a woman, or am I being unreasonable? Thanks, Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You’re not being unreasonable at all. Some people simply feel more comfortable with a female practitioner, and that’s okay. When you’re choosing a dentist, you need to feel comfortable and know that you can trust him or her. In fact, many insurance companies that post lists of their physicians online actually allow you to search by gender for this very reason.

At the same time, you’re experiencing one of the odd quirks of dentistry. The latest stats indicate 98% of oral surgeons are men. This has been the topic of scientific research; trying to uncover why so few women get into the field and what can be done to attract more women to it. Sadly, very little has changed over the years, and it continues to be a male-dominated profession.

There’s a very real chance that there are no female oral surgeons in your area, particularly if you live in a smaller community. So, you have a couple of options.

1) Visit the office of a male oral surgeon and see if he has female staff members who will be with you during treatment. Offices usually have an assistant assigned to each patient, and the majority of assistants are female. You can also ask if the anesthesiologist, if one will be present, is female. So even if you can’t have a female doctor, you may feel some comfort by having women around you while you’re medicated.

2) Search for a female sedation dentist. It sounds like your dentist was willing to do your extractions, which means a specialist isn’t really needed for the extractions. You may be able to find a female general dentist in your area who provides oral conscious sedation.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

 

Is sedation dentistry safe if I’m a coward at the dentist?

I am a coward at the dentist and I have a low tolerance for pain. I know I need sedation but I’m concerned about the safety. A normal person would be numbed with local anesthetic, but it doesn’t work for me. My dentist has tried numbing me 2 hours before my appointment but it has no effect. It’s as if nothing was done at all. He isn’t a gentle dentist either. So I’ve put off any serious dental work. Within the past two weeks I received a postcard in the mail from a nearby dental office. It’s a husband and wife team that practices sedation dentistry. Is this really a safe alternative? Is there any way to tell whether or not it would work on me before the dentist starts drilling in my mouth? Thanks Lizzy

Lizzy – Your case is not unusual.  Millions of Americans have dental anxiety or dental phobia and consider themselves to be dental cowards. It helps to have a gentle dentist, but sometimes that isn’t enough. When the anxiety is high enough, local anesthetic either wears off very quickly or doesn’t work at all. Sedation dentistry is a safe alternative.

Conscious oral sedation uses common anti-anxiety medication to relax you. You’ll still be conscious and have your reflexes, and your vital signs will be monitored. But you’ll be completely relaxed. Some dentists use nitrous oxide to calm the patient so that the local anesthetic will be effective. Remember sedation is not local anesthetic, but it helps you relax so that the anesthetic will work. It can also help you experience less sensitivity to pain.

Sedation Dentistry Is Safe

Sedation dentistry is safer and less expensive than general anesthesia. It helps you to have a pleasant dental experience, and it’s likely that you won’t recall what happened during the appointment. It is safe. Your medical and prescription history is reviewed to determine if you are a candidate for it. During your dental procedure, your vital signs are monitored.

You can find a gentle dentist who enjoys treating fearful and anxious patients. It’s important that you get the treatment you need, so that you can maintain good oral health. Sedation dentistry can help.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

Will sedation dentistry work if I’m already on anti-anxiety meds?

Will sedation dentistry work if I’m already on anti-anxiety meds? I also take an anti-depressant. The thought of needing 2 root canals is making me very nervous. My concern is that the medication I’m already taking will cancel out the sedation drugs. I’m also concerned about interactions. Each day my teeth are really getting uncomfortable so I know I’m going to have to act soon. If I can’t get sedation I’m not sure I could make it through the appointment. What would a dentist do in my case? Thanks. Rody

Rody – The medication a dentist selects for sedation during dental treatment is based on several factors, including:

  • His or her treatment philosophy
  • Experience using the drug
  • A patient’s medical history
  • The dental procedure

Sedation dentists who regularly treat anxious patients know how to assist those who have general anxiety and already take some form of anti-anxiety medication.

Remember to provide your dentist with a complete list of your medications, the dosage, and how often you take them. The information you provide will prevent negative drug interactions. It will also help the dentist determine which anti-anxiety medication to use. There are a variety of options to help you relax during dental treatment.

You can also contact the dental office and ask if you can fax or e-mail the list of your medications before your consultation. It will give the dentist time to review it and provide you with an idea of which medications can be used during dental treatment.

Whenever necessary, your dentist will be willing to work with your primary care doctor and your pharmacist to select sedation medication that will be effective during your dental procedure.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

After a sedation dentistry appointment, can I stay at the office until I can drive home?

I finally decided to see a sedation dentist for 4 crowns that I need badly. I need 2 fillings also and am anticipating being in the office for a while. I am wondering if sedation dentists have provisions for patients to stay in the office until the medication wears off. If it can wear off in the office, I prefer to drive myself home. How long does it take for the medication to wear off? Jamison

Jamison – You first need to have a consultation with a sedation dentist to determine which level of sedation you will receive. If you receive oral conscious sedation, you will likely be drowsy for the rest of the day. You will still need a ride home.

What to Expect with Sedation Dentistry

Below is some helpful information on what’s involved in receiving sedation dentistry

  • Your first appointment is a consultation for diagnosis of the issues with your teeth, along with treatment options.
  • Your medical, prescription, and dental history will be reviewed to determine if you are a candidate for sedation and which medication should be used.
  • For the day of your appointment, the sedation dentist will advise you to have an adult drive you to the office, take you home, and stay with you for the rest of the day. This is a precaution for you, because if you’re at home and you need anything, your drowsiness can contribute to an accident.
  • After your procedure plan to stay at home, preferably in bed or on a sofa.

Sedation allows dentists to complete as much work as possible. But if any of your teeth require extensive work, you’ll probably have to return to the office until treatment is complete.

After your consultation, your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan. Your sedation dentist will let you know if all of your dental work can be completed in one day, or if multiple appointments are required. Dental crowns usually require at least two appointments. Crowns are usually made in a lab, so you would return to the office to have them bonded to the natural teeth that the crowns are preserving.

Depending on your comfort level with the dentist, after your first treatment appointment, you might prefer to only receive local anesthetic and to waive medication that will make you drowsy. In that case, you would be able to drive home.

We suggest that you find a sedation dentist who is also a cosmetic dentist. A trained cosmetic dentist will produce natural-looking results that help you smile with confidence.

This post is sponsored by Plano female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

 

Can I refuse sedation dentistry with wisdom teeth removal?

I need to have all of my wisdom teeth pulled and I don’t want sedation. I haven’t seen a dentist recently, but I know it’s my wisdom teeth that are hurting and the pain is getting worse. Before I go in I want to know if sedation is necessary or just something the dentist will try to convince me to get. I don’t like people doing anything to me medically or otherwise without me being fully aware of what’s going on. I am not afraid of the procedure. I just want to be full aware and awake. Can you tell me if sedation is standard for wisdom teeth removal or can I go without it? Thanks Brooklynn

Brooklynn – It’s good that you recognize that dental care is needed for your wisdom teeth. Whether or not you need sedation dentistry depends on the condition of the teeth and their roots. Wisdom teeth are especially painful when they are impacted.

Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to a variety of oral health issues, including those listed below:

  • Damage neighboring teeth
  • Become infected, and in some cases form a cyst that affects nerves, other teeth, your jaw, and facial muscles
  • Become difficult to clean and promote bacteria and gum disease
  • Bacteria can enter your bloodstream and affect your organs, including your heart and kidneys

You will receive an anesthesia evaluation. Local anesthesia will definitely be administered. Your dentist or oral surgeon is concerned about your comfort during wisdom teeth removal. If the removal of the teeth is anticipated to be complex or time consuming, sedation dentistry might be recommended.

There are various levels of sedation:

  • Nitrous oxide
  • Oral conscious sedation
  • IV sedation dentistry

Before you decline sedation, ensure you understand what to expect during the procedure. Ask the dentist about what you will be able to hear, see, and feel more intensely than you would without sedation. It’s your right as a patient to accept or decline care, but sedation dentistry can make the removal of impacted wisdom teeth a much more pleasant experience.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

Will osteoporosis prevent me from getting sedation dentistry?

I have osteoporosis and I think sedation dentistry might help me get some issues with my teeth taken care of. I’m just concerned that sedation might make my condition worse. I have difficulty sitting for extended periods, so if sedation is going to keep me in the dental chair longer than I should be, that’s a concern too. The thought of falling from being drowsy also scares me. Do patients with osteoporosis get sedation dentistry? Is there anything I need to consider before I ask for it? Valeriya

Valeriya – As you know, osteoporosis decreases bone density and makes bones very fragile. It can affect your oral health.

Osteoporosis Affects Oral Health

The disease can affect any bone in your body, including your jawbone. It creates oral health risks including:

  • Decreased jawbone density and affecting the stability of your teeth.
  • Triggering periodontal (gum) disease
  • Increased risk of needing dentures

Sedation Dentistry Can Help

Your oral health needs more attention than usual. Sedation dentistry can help you get the dental care you need. Before you receive sedation, your dentist will determine if you’re a candidate for it.

Your medical and prescription history will be thoroughly reviewed. Your dentist may want to collaborate with your medical doctors to take necessary precautions and to determine which form of anti-anxiety medication is best for your needs. Most patients are candidates for sedation dentistry even if they have other medical conditions.

Speak with your dentist about your concerns with sitting in the chair too long. He or she will schedule multiple visits, if necessary, to ensure your comfort.

What can you expect after receiving sedation dentistry? It’s important to closely follow after care instructions to prevent injury.

  • You will still be drowsy.
  • The dental office should have a wheel chair ready to take you to the car. You won’t have to worry about falling and breaking fragile bones.
  • You will have arranged for transportation home, and that person or another responsible adult should stay with you for the rest of the day.
  • Rest in bed or on the sofa, and limit your activity around the house. Someone should assist you with necessary tasks to prevent you from falling.

Your dentist will work with your and your doctors to limit the effects of osteoporosis on your oral health. With proper screening and planning, sedation dentistry can help.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

 

After every sedation dentistry appointment I’m so sick

Sedation dentistry has been the best thing for me as far as the dental appointment is concerned. As long as I can see a dentist and get through the appointment without having a panic attack I’m good. The problem is not what happens at the dentist but what happens when I get home. Last week was my 3rd sedation dentistry appointment and when I got home, I started vomiting and I got dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out. The next day I’m just fine but after this last episode I started wondering what if this happens every time and I choke or something and I can’t get to the phone to call 911. I try to remember to keep my phone in a pocket at all times, but what if I can’t talk or something that? What do patients do to prevent sedation dentistry from making them so sick that they might not be able to call for help? Shem

Shem,

It’s good to know that sedation dentistry is helping you maintain good oral health. But we are concerned that it’s making you so sick afterward. What you are experiencing isn’t normal, so don’t continue to endure the results afterward just because you can make it through your dental appointments.

Is Sedation Dentistry Making You Sick?

Tell your dentist

Have you told your dentist about your episodes? Your nausea and vomiting might be the result of the anti-anxiety medication. Be sure to let your dentist know the effect the medication is having on you. Your dentist can try a different type of medication, or perhaps you just need a lower lose.

Don’t stay home alone

Another concern is that you’re alone after your appointment. Although you might get a ride home after your dental appointment, an adult should remain with you for the rest of the day, if not overnight.

If you need assistance, or if you get sick as you have described, an adult who is present can help you or call 911 for you. Never stay alone after a sedation dentistry appointment.

Don’t get discouraged

Side effects can occur with just about any medication. Don’t get discouraged. You’re not the first patient to experience side effects from medication. If necessary, your dentist will work with your medical doctor or a pharmacist to find the right anti-anxiety medication for you.

Be certain to contact your dentist about this issue before your next procedure.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

 

How long should a dental cleaning take and why aren’t they sedating me?

I want to know why my dentist isn’t sedating me. My past 2 dental cleanings took almost 2 hours. The first time it took so long that my underarms were soaked and my shirt was wet. It was the craziest experience. My gums were bleeding and when the hygienist rinsed my mouth and told me to suck on that straw thing to dry my mouth, I almost gagged. So did she! I heard her make a gagging sound. At the end of the appointment she and the dentist told me I have gum disease so I have to floss more often and I need to go back more often to get my teeth cleaned. I’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of gum disease but what is taking so long with these cleanings? I only have 23 teeth, so what is the problem people? Last week I went back again and this 2nd appointment took almost 2 hours again. This time neither of us gagged. Maybe that’s improvement… Is the time involved normal? And with all of this bloody mess and my soaked underarms after the appointment why are they not sedating me? How long should a dental cleaning take? Thanks. Geoff

Geoff – Your concern about the length of your dental cleanings and your level of anxiety without sedation are understandable. And your dentist should provide you with the answers.

Average Time for a Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning for a patient who has good oral health and maintains excellent oral hygiene at home takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The time can vary, depending on the condition of your teeth and the hygienist’s speed. Keep in mind that when you receive a dental cleaning, more is involved than just cleaning and polishing your teeth:

  • X-rays are taken.
  • Your hygienist will check the space between your teeth and gums for signs of periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Your dentist will also need to examine your teeth, gums, tongue, and other oral cavities to ensure they are healthy and disease free.

The “extras” are necessary to help you maintain good oral hygiene. And they naturally add more time to your dental visit. But let’s discuss what might be taking your appointment so long and why you aren’t being sedated.

What’s Taking So Long?

So what’s affecting the time it takes to clean your teeth? Several factors might be involved:

  • The condition of your teeth – A professional dental cleaning removes plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth. The amount of plaque and tartar buildup is related to how often you brush and floss your teeth. The more you floss between your teeth, the less plaque and tartar there will be. Stains can develop from everyday eating and drinking, but if you smoke, or if you are a heavy coffee or tea drinker, your teeth will have more stains.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease – When the pocket, or space between each tooth and the surrounding gum tissue, is infected, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth. Deep periodontal pockets need to be thoroughly cleaned to get rid of gum disease. This process, scaling and root planing, is a deeper cleaning than normal and takes more time. In cases of severe periodontal disease, a specialist (periodontist) might be needed.
  • Your anxiety level – It takes a little more time and patience to provide dental care for anxious patients. If your dentist and hygienist know you’re anxious, they will work at a slower pace to ensure your comfort and to take time to explain what’s being done throughout the dental procedure. Some dental professionals do this regardless of a patient’s anxiety level. Sedation can help make dental cleanings easier for you.

Why Aren’t You Being Sedated for Your Dental Cleanings?

Perhaps your dentist and hygienist haven’t noticed your sweaty armpits. Maybe it’s not that noticeable to them, or maybe they need to be more observant. Have you explained how nervous you’re getting with the lengthy dental cleaning appointments?

Your periodontal disease needs to be well controlled, so it’s time to let your hygienist and dentist know just how much the cleaning appointments are affecting you. Ask for sedation so you won’t start to dread your appointments—and possibly start skipping a few.

Your dentist should work with you to provide a level of sedation that matches your anxiety and the length of your dental appointments. If he or she isn’t responsive enough to your anxiety, it might be time to look for another sedation dentist.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

I’m too anxious even for a sedation dentist

I’ve spent the last 3 years with so many medical issues that I can’t manage to even see a sedation dentist about the problems that I have with my teeth due to my illnesses and medication. The countless hospital stays and doctors’ appointments have tapped out my emotions. Thankfully I am much better physically but I’m just exhausted from seeing healthcare providers. I know that my teeth need extensive work and I will have to see a dentist, but I’m just afraid. I understand that sedation dentistry is my best option, but I’m anxious about going to the dentist. I just want to get my anxiety under control before I take that step. There isn’t a lot of time for me to do this because my teeth are in poor shape and it is starting to affect my confidence. What can I do to get over this hump? Ava

Ava,

Sedation dentists don’t just give you medication so you can get through your dental appointment. They thoroughly understand dental anxiety, and they are compassionate about it. Part of their training involves seeking to understand why a patient is anxious, and that comes through communication with you.

Your experience with a sedation dentist will evolve from conversation, to education and understanding, to dental treatment. A sedation dentist makes the effort to provide a calming office environment, to hire patient staff members, and to ensure your comfort throughout the dental visit.

We suggest that you schedule appointments to speak with at least two sedation dentists—not for dental treatment—but to get to know the dentist and how he or she can help you address your anxiety. Medication is part of the solution, but so is your relationship with the dentist. When you call to schedule the appointment, explain your concerns and that your request is only for a consultation—no exam or x-rays.

You can get to know the dentist and experience the office environment before you commit to dental treatment.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.