Dental-related phobia is a common problem among patients of all ages, many of whom even skip much-needed appointments because they can’t bear the thought of sitting in the treatment chair. At Michel Dental, creating a comfortable atmosphere for each patient is one of our team’s top priorities. If our friendly, gentle nature just isn’t enough to calm your nerves, our professional sedation techniques should be able to do the job, creating a relaxing environment where even the most extensive procedures can be carried out smoothly. Don’t hesitate to contact either of our locations today if you’d like to learn more.
Oral conscious sedation involves the use of medication to reach a relaxed state. Our team will provide the prescription as well as detailed instructions for when to take it before your appointment is set to begin. While patients will not be rendered unconscious, the effect may be strong enough that they don’t remember much about their experience after recovering. Please keep in mind when choosing oral conscious sedation that you will need a trusted escort to bring you both to and from Michel Dental for your own safety.
Oral conscious sedation is a popular form of sedation because it’s able to help patients with moderate to severe anxiety about visiting the dentist have a more positive experience from beginning to end. Before your sedation dentist in Topeka and Silver Lake prescribe a pill for you to take about an hour prior to your scheduled visit, we’ll go over your medical history together to make sure you’re a good candidate. When you arrive to our office after you’ve taken the medication, you may feel slightly drowsy, but you’ll also experience deep relief of anxiety that will make this visit much different from others you’ve had.
We request that patients take the pill that we prescribe for their sedation about an hour before their appointment. Typically, it will be triazolam, which is in the diazepam family (think, Valium®). However, some dentists also use lorazepam. The effects will begin to kick-in by the time you arrive, and they’ll likely linger for the rest of the day, so you’ll need to have a trusted friend or family member prepared to drop you off and pick you up from your appointment. Despite the strong effects, you’ll remain conscious and be able to respond to our team throughout the visit. We recommend that you don’t resume your regular activities until about 24 hours after taking the medication to ensure all effects wear off.
Typically, we recommend oral conscious sedation for patients who are extremely anxious at the thought of visiting the dentist, experience pain while getting dental work, have a strong gag reflex, or require a long procedure. The only reasons why we may not recommend this sedation method is under the following situations:
In any of these cases, we may recommend a different method of sedation instead of oral conscious. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our friendly team at Michel Dental.
Nitrous oxide in Topeka & Silver Lake (also regularly referred to as “laughing gas”) is a mild sedative that’s administered through a nasal mask while the patient is in the treatment chair. It’s safe for children and adults alike, and the positive effects begin after just minutes of exposure. Patients may feel lighter or like they’re spinning slowly while remaining fully conscious; others become very content or even euphoric! Better yet, the effects wear off just as quickly once we’ve removed the mask. This means that you don’t have to schedule any downtime and can return to your routine with minimal waiting.
You may wonder if you’re a good candidate for nitrous oxide. The good news is that most patients are considered eligible as long as they are in good overall health. Typically, those who are recommended for nitrous oxide have or are currently experiencing:
To receive nitrous oxide, you must schedule a consultation with your sedation dentist in Topeka & Silver Lake. This will allow us to go over your medical history as well as any medications you are currently taking.
When you arrive at our dental office, we will have you sit in the treatment chair before placing a nasal mask over your nose. After turning on the nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture, you will begin to inhale the gas. Within minutes, you’ll notice a change in the way you feel. Whether you become warm and cozy or slightly euphoric, you can expect to feel no pain and remain fully relaxed throughout your visit.
While providing the necessary oral healthcare services, our team will monitor your progress to make sure you remain comfortable the entire time. We’ll also have you respond to cues while receiving nitrous oxide. This means you will not be fully sedated but instead, relaxed and at ease.
After your treatment is complete, we will turn off the gas and have you breathe in regular oxygen until the effects fully subside. This should take no more than a few minutes. That is one of the great benefits of this type of sedation – it causes no long-term side effects. This makes it possible for you to resume normal activity immediately following your appointment. This means you can return to work or send your child back to school if necessary.
There are many misconceptions that people tend to have when it comes to common services like sedation dentistry. If you feel nervous, anxious, or hold any type of phobia of dental treatments, there’s a good chance that sedatives like nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation can make a big difference. For your convenience, we’ve included a few of the most common questions we hear at the office as well as our detailed answers below. If you have other concerns that need addressing, please give our office a call directly.
For the overwhelming majority of patients, sedation dentistry is perfectly safe. Most people can handle nitrous oxide and it remains the safest method in dentistry today. Of course, our team will go over your medical history beforehand and any medications you are currently taking to make sure there’s no risk for negative interactions. We’ll closely monitor your vitals after you’ve been sedated, including your blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate, and other information to ensure you’re safe.
While you may have heard sedation dentistry and “sleep dentistry” be used interchangeably in the past, they are quite different from each other. Sedation dentistry is not designed to put you to sleep. The only sedation that accomplishes that is general anesthesia, a form of sedation more commonly found in hospital settings. While our office does not offer general anesthesia, dental practices that do generally have an anesthesiologist come in to administer it. With that said, it’s normal for memories while being sedated to become “fuzzy,” meaning it may feel like you fell asleep even if you did not. It’s not uncommon for patients to doze off during treatment, so we’ll give you a gentle tap on the shoulder to wake you up if needed.
Nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation are not meant to put you to sleep, but you may find it difficult to maintain any memory of your treatment regardless. The stronger the sedation you receive, the less likely you are to retain any memories whatsoever. This may be more ideal for those who have a strong fear of dentistry or experienced negative past dental experiences.
In most cases, dental insurance plans consider sedation dentistry to be a “luxury” service more akin to cosmetic dental care. This means they generally do not receive coverage from any kind of dental plan. Like other services, though, there are some exceptions. For example, if a dental patient has a disability that makes dentistry impossible without sedation, they may receive coverage. In other cases, sedation may be covered if the treatment needed is particularly complex (i.e. multiple tooth extractions). However, this will widely vary from plan to plan and routine services like root canal therapy and dental fillings do not typically classify as “complex.” Our team will help you navigate the ins and outs of your policy ahead of time to make your care as affordable as possible.
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