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sedation dentistry in CARMEL

Carmel Family Dental can now offer sleep dentistry with a board certified cardiac anesthesiologist. This is very unique because for the first time on the peninsula, phobic patients can get excellent dental care and top notch anesthesia monitoring all in one place. No need to worry about whether or not your dentist is qualified to monitor your sedation while taking care of your teeth.

It is no secret that most of us do not like going to the dentist. In fact, many people go years without even a check-up or cleaning. Some reasons for avoiding the dentist include:

  • Fear of needles, drills, or other dental instruments
  • Past traumatic dental experiences
  • Sensitive teeth and/or difficulty getting numb
  • Discomfort with the smells, noises, and tastes that accompany dental work

Fortunately, in this day and age these issues are no longer a reason to avoid the dentist. With sedation dentistry, patients are able to have a comfortable, anxiety-free experience while having their dental work performed.

Matthew Fritsch MD
the anesthesiologist that will care for you

What is sleep dentistry?

Sedation dentistry has been around for over 100 years, and has continued to evolve over the last 40 years as more options are made available to patients. In order to perform sedation, dentists are required to become accredited and complete additional training. However, its widespread acceptance and use has come about more slowly than medical sedation.

While it is common practice to be sedated by doctors for medical procedures, for some time there has been the misconception that routine dental work is not uncomfortable enough to justify the use of sedation. Fortunately, dental sedation is now used worldwide. It has proven to be a safe and effective option for a variety of patients and procedures.

Depending on the extent of the work being done and the needs of the individual patient, we offer three different methods of sedation:
  1. Oral Sedation (pill)~ This is the lowest level of sedation we administer, usually for patients who are afraid of getting a shot, or are just anxious about having dental work done. Usually one pill is taken the night before to help the patient sleep, then another an hour prior to the dental appointment.

  2. Nitrous Oxide~ Also known as inhalation sedation or “laughing gas,” this is one step up from the oral sedative. A mask is placed over the patient's nose, and the flow level is adjusted by the dentist until the patient is comfortable. One advantage of this method is that as soon as the dental work is complete, the patient receives 100% oxygen and the feeling of sedation is gone within a few minutes.

  3. Intravenous sedation and general anesthesia~ Intravenous anesthesia for moderate and deep sedation is available for more lengthy or involved procedures, or for individuals who require more than oral sedation and nitrous oxide. Intravenous anesthesia is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist with continuous monitoring of the patient. Patients will have little to no memory of the dental procedure with this level of sedation. For most individuals, moderate to deep intravenous sedation is all that is required. However, there are situations where general anesthesia is required, and in these situations, the patient will be completely unconscious throughout the entire dental procedure. This kind of service with a board certified anesthesiologist is totally unique to Carmel Family Dental.

What to Expect

With conscious sedation, most patients describe feeling as though they have “slept” through the appointment. Those who have had nitrous oxide sedation often compare it to feeling like they are “floating” or to having had a few glasses of wine. The oral sedatives have a similar effect, depending on the type of pill and dosage. Most of the above sedation methods will allow you to communicate. Throughout the appointment, your doctor will closely monitor your vital signs and overall comfort level.

If you are sedated you will need someone to bring you to our office on the day of your appointment. Also, you MUST make sure you have someone to take you home afterward.

How do I know if sedation is right for me?

Talking with your dentist is the first step in deciding if sedation dentistry is for you. Whether you are afraid of needles, have trouble getting numb, or are simply anxious when it comes to dental work, you and your dentist can discuss your individual case and options.

Do you live in or around CARMEL? There is no reason to put off your dental work - all it takes is a phone call to get the dental care you need. We are here to discuss your individual needs in order to find a plan that can help you get the oral and full body health that you deserve. Call us today.
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