Sedation Dentistry, Malibu CA
A visit to the dentist can cause fear and anxiety. Patients who experience dental phobia may postpone or avoid vital dental appointment, and multiple dental visits are out of the question. Neglecting your oral health can lead to tooth loss, disease, and overall health problems. However, you can overcome dental fear with oral conscious sedation from Dr. Perkins.
- What is oral conscious sedation?
Oral conscious sedation is the use of oral medication in combination with nitrous oxide to achieve an appropriate level of relaxation so that a fearful patient can calmly receive the dental care he or she needs. Most states require board-certification, which involves additional training in dosage, monitoring, and safety. The entire process is simple and comfortable.
At your first appointment, we will discuss with you your overall health and medical history. If you feel comfortable, we will take X-rays and examine your teeth and supporting tissues. This will give us the information we need to determine which dental treatments will restore your smile. Before you leave the office, we will schedule your next appointment and prescribe an anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, medication.
Dr. Perkins will advise you as to when you should take the medication, usually 1 to 2 hours before your dental appointment. Accompanied by a responsible friend or family member, you’ll arrive at the dentist’s office more rested and relaxed. We will gauge your anxiety level when you arrive for the appointment. If needed, nitrous oxide will be given to further relax you, and an experienced sedation dentistry team will monitor your vital signs during the procedure. Your friend or family member will accompany you home once your dental work is complete. The effects of the sedative should subside by the following day. It is wise to have a friend or relative stay with you until the medication wears off.
Although your dental procedures may take hours, you will feel as if they take only minutes. Some patients become so relaxed that they fall asleep in the dentist’s chair. Sedation medications have an amnesic effect, so you’ll have few, if any, memories of the visit. You can immediately enjoy your improved smile.
- Who should consider oral conscious sedation?
You may want to consider oral sedation if:
- You are fearful or anxious of dental treatment and dental instruments
- Local anesthetics do not have a numbing effect on you
- You have a sensitive gag reflex
- You suffer from any health issues, such as neck or back pain, which could lead to discomfort while sitting in a dentist’s chair
Oral conscious sedation can give you the peace of mind you need in order to undergo dental work. You may enjoy better overall health, an improved self-image, and better quality of life with a healthy, beautiful smile.
Think it’s impossible to relax at the dentist’s office? Reliable intravenous (IV) sedation techniques let you rest comfortably while receiving the dental care you need and want at our Malibu or San Francisco area dental offices. If fear of the dentist keeps you from necessary treatment, ask us about IV sedation to ease you through any procedure.
While mostly used for oral surgeries or time-consuming procedures, IV sedation can alleviate severe anxiety and phobias associated with dentists, needles, and drills to make any dental procedure pleasant. In addition, patients with sensitive gag reflexes and those with TMJ or other neuromuscular disorders that make it hard to keep their mouths open for long periods of time often benefit from IV sedation. Dr. Perkins will consult with you to determine your anxiety level and decide whether IV sedation is safe for you, based on medical history and present health conditions.
The sedative dosage we administer correlates to the intensity of your anxiety or discomfort. IV sedation allows us unprecedented control over relaxation levels, so we can tailor the sedation to your specific needs. Depending on the amount of sedative you receive, you will feel extremely relaxed, drowsy, or you may fall asleep completely. Typically, patients remain conscious and can respond to questions but do not experience extreme nervousness or discomfort, remembering little about the appointment afterwards.
As with any procedure we perform, your physical safety remains our top concern. To prepare for an appointment in which you will receive IV sedation, do not eat or drink anything for eight hours prior to your procedure, except for prescription medications, unless advised otherwise. While you are under sedation, we closely monitor blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. After your dental work, we stop the IV and let you rest comfortably for 15 to 20 minutes before you leave our office. If necessary, we prescribe pain management medication after your visit, particularly after an oral surgery. You must arrange to have a responsible adult drive you home from your appointment and remain with you until drowsiness wears off. You should be able to resume normal activities the day after the appointment.
We understand your fear about visiting the dentist, as well as your desire for healthy, beautiful teeth. We can help you achieve the smile of your dreams with the compassionate care you deserve. Ask us if IV sedation is right for you!
Our Office is Happy to Offer Nitrous Oxide for All Patients
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” as it’s more commonly known, is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhale through a small mask that fits comfortably over your nose. The goal is to make you as comfortable as possible during your dental treatment. For those of our patients who experience anxiety or fear before a dental appointment, we recommend using this helpful service. The process is simple: you will be asked to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. The feelings will wear off soon after the mask is removed. Your comfort is our top priority and nitrous oxide therapy is perfect for patients who get a bit nervous before receiving dental treatment.
Contact our dental practice today to schedule your appointment.