Sedation Dentistry Overcomes Fear of Dentists
By Timothy Kosinski, DDS
Fear is a major reason why many people won’t go to the dentist and sedation dentistry is a technique most likely to convince dental phobics to make regular visits. The sounds, smells and environment of a dentist office are a turn-off for many youngsters and this early negative experience can hinder adults from making good decisions for proper oral care.
Often neglect over several years by dental phobics will create the need for lots of work to be done, meaning many visits to the dentist. That’s where sedation dentistry will meet the needs of our dentist-shy patients, including cleaning and filling in one simple visit.
There are many choices available to produce an anxiety-free visit to the dentist and I will review the patient’s medical history and past experiences to determine which approach is best.
Oral medications or intravenous medications may be used. Sedative drugs, such as valium, Demerol and Benadryl are given intravenously. All medications are thus able to enter your body and the effects controlled. You will breathe on your own, with some supplemental oxygen. In other cases, oral sedatives can be given to relax you. The patient is monitored during the entire process with a pulse oximeter (which measures oxygen concentration), an ECG, blood pressure and pulse.
Conscious sedation is a minimally depressed level of consciousness. You are able to maintain your breathing and respond appropriately to verbal and physical stimuli. I will be able to speak to you during a procedure and you will be able to respond, but you will be in a relaxed state.
Intravenous sedation (IV sedation) is known as deep conscious sedation. I will place a small butterfly needle in your arm and all medications are given directly into the blood stream through this line. The greatest advantage is that I will be able to control how deep you need to be during certain procedures and the effects are instant. The drugs used are more effective than if given orally and you probably won’t remember most of the procedures.
Oral sedation is relaxation when you take a pill. You will be breathing on your own and even sometimes fall asleep. The disadvantage is that the amount of medication needed for an individual is sometimes difficult to determine. This is an easier approach since you will simply take a pill according to our directions and it works well for most people. However, we can’t change the level of sedation during the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide is also used in our practice. This “laughing gas” can allow you to fall asleep and you can control your feeling with the depth of the breaths you take. This technique works well if you are mildly apprehensive.
Advantages of sedation dentistry include:
- You probably will have little memory of the procedures or at least the time will pass very quickly.
- You won’t remember the sounds and smells associated with dental care.
- You will be relaxed during the entire procedure, which may be several hours.
- Difficult or complex procedures can often be done in one visit, rather than spreading over many dental visits.
- There will be no problem getting numb, even if you’ve had a problem in the past.
- You will not feel pain.
I was trained in sedation dentistry during my general practice residency program at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. For over 20 years I have provided dental treatment to apprehensive, physically or mentally challenged patients right in his office. It helps that I am current with ACLS and BCLS courses and have all the proper equipment to monitor the patient’s condition at all times.
Because of my well-trained staff, I am able to safely and effectively allow patients to be relatively unaware of their fears or concerns during their dental therapy, including the sound of the drill or any smells associated with a dental office. The safe and effective options provided at my practice makes visiting the dentist a pleasant experience.
I find that sedation not only reduces the apprehension of being in the dentist’s chair, but also allows for a better healing time following any procedures. Some patients have come into our office unable to even sit in the chair, sweating profusely. Following a positively reinforced sedation procedure, these patients often become my best patients and are able to have minor procedures done without the medications.
Following are some of the reasons why a patient might seek out a dentist who can perform sedation dentistry:
- A history of a negative or traumatic experience.
- A hard time with local anesthetic, having a hard time “getting numb”.
- A difficult gag reflex.
- Apprehension with the dentist or dental treatment.
- Wanting to get all or most of your dental needs completed in one visit.
- Having sensitive teeth.
- A physical or mental compromise that makes going to a dentist difficult.
- The need for a surgical procedure, like dental implants or extractions, or complex dental therapy.
The negative feeling about going to the dentist can be blocked out. Fear is a negative motivator. Once you visit our office for a consultation we may be able to make you understand that we can create a positive experience in the dental chair. Most procedures are done right in our office in our surgical suite. More complex situations may require the help of an anesthesiologist or for the work to be done in a hospital setting.
For anyone afraid of the dentist or dental treatment, SmileCreator of Bingham Farms is the place to be. Medically or physically challenged patients also are treated in a compassionate and safe environment.
For more information about Dr. Kosinski or SmileCreator go to www.smilecreator.net, call 248-646-8651 or send an email query to firstname.lastname@example.org. SmileCreator is located at 31000 Telegraph Rd., Suite 170, Bingham Farms, MI 48025.
About Dr. Timothy Kosinski
He has practiced general and implant dentistry for 20 years. A graduate of University of Detroit Dental School, he completed comprehensive implant training at Harvard. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, The International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the American Society of Osseointegration. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and most recently received his Mastership in the AGD in Anaheim this year. Dr. Kosinski has been inducted into the American and International Colleges of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International. Dr. Kosinski was selected the Best Dentist in America by his peers in 2004-2005.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Timothy Kosinski, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications at email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090.