Sedation Dentistry 

Sedation Dentistry 

The dentist’s office isn’t a very relaxing place for some people. In fact, it can be downright scary, especially for kids.

At Stubbs Dental, we are equipped to provide the dental care you need in the most comfortable way possible, and that often includes sedation dentistry. 

So why should you consider using dental sedation?

In addition to general anesthesia, we offer three sedation options...

nitrous oxide, oral conscious, and iv sedation

You do not need to be embarrassed about dental anxiety...

You Are Not Alone

Relax during Your Dental Treatment 

Nurse with dental tool looking in the mouth of child in dental chair.Sedation can be used for everything from preventative dentistry procedures to oral surgery. There are a few different medications that we use to help the dental experience be less tense and less painful. Some are administered locally to help take away the pain. Others are administered to help you relax during the procedures our doctors perform and these can be given in a variety of ways.

For some treatments, we’ll put you into a deep sleep using IV sedation. To decide which is the best kind of sedation or anesthetic for you, one of our dentists will consult with you. You’ll often have some options to choose from. The type of procedure you’re receiving, your health history and allergies are some of the factors that must be considered. A root canal will require different medication than a filling, for example.

These are the different levels of sedation:

  • Minimal: You’re relaxed and awake.
  • Moderate: You’re sleepy but awake.
  • Deep: You’re barely awake.
  • General anesthesia: You’re unconscious.

Anesthetics block nerves that sense and transmit pain, which also results in that numbing feeling most of us are familiar with.

Children and Anesthesia

Parents are sometimes anxious about anesthesia for their children. At our office, we are well qualified to provide anesthesia appropriately and safely. We make sure to use the smallest possible dosage to get the desired pain blockage and relaxation. You’re child will be carefully examined prior to sedation, and carefully monitored during the entire process. Sedation dentistry can be a very important tool in helping children get the dental care they need.

Remember that dentists everywhere use these techniques millions of times every year without negative consequence.

Undergo Dental Treatment More Comfortably with IV Sedation

Stubbs Dental is proud to offer a full array of sedation dentistry choices. One option is IV sedation administered by a licensed anesthesiologist. Whether you are undergoing oral surgery, or suffer from a dental phobia, we can safely and effectively help you relax and feel calm while in the dentist’s chair. The IV sedation option can optimize your dental experience by inhibiting your senses and allowing you to wake with little to no memory of your treatment. 

How Does IV Sedation Work?

On the day of your procedure, the anesthesiologist will administer the sedative intravenously and continue to monitor the level of sedation for your safety. In mere minutes, you will fall into a deep state of relaxation, but will be able to respond to questions from the doctor and, of course, breathe on your own.

We want to make your experience with us as pain- and stress-free as possible.

This type of sedation represents a minimally depressed level of consciousness, taking away stress and anxiety with incredible efficiency for the vast majority of patients. IV sedation does not combat physical discomforts, so we will provide you with an anesthetic to make your experience with us as pain- and stress-free as possible.

Candidates for IV Sedation

Patients who identify with the following may benefit from IV sedation during their dental visit:

  • Experience moderate to severe dental phobia
  • Have highly sensitive teeth and gums
  • Do not respond well to traditional numbing techniques
  • Have avoided the dentist for years due to dental anxiety
  • Are undergoing multiple procedures at the same time
  • Have a fear of dental drills, needles, and other instruments
  • Are undergoing oral surgery, including dental implants or All-on-4®
A patient undergoes dental treatment with IV sedation.
IV sedation can provide peace of mind during dental therapies

Consequences of Avoiding Dental Care 

By not receiving routine cleanings and checkups, you can develop infections and decay. If such dental issues are not corrected in time, it can have a cascading effect, possibly resulting in tooth loss. Avoiding the dentist can quickly evolve into needing extensive dental therapies, to get the mouth functioning and biting properly again. These issues can also add up quickly in terms of cost. 

Recovery Advantages of Sedation

For patients undergoing oral surgeries, IV sedation has the added bonus of allowing the doctor to work faster, equating to less operative time, faster healing, and less downtime.

General Anesthesia for Maximum Comfort

General anesthesia is the deepest level of sedation available, usually reserved for extensive dental procedures such as full mouth reconstructions or smile makeovers. Stubbs Dental works with a skilled anesthesiologist who will safely administer general anesthesia prior to your procedure and remain throughout to monitor your safety and comfort. 

A patient undergoing dental treatment with general anesthesia.
General anesthesia is used during extensive procedures.

About General Anesthesia

General anesthesia induces unconsciousness during dental procedures so that patients are completely unaware of their surroundings. In this state, patients do not sense or feel pain, and it is not uncommon for individuals to develop amnesia. Patients under general anesthesia are typically unresponsive until the sedative medications wear off. 

General anesthesia ensures maximum patient comfort during even the most invasive procedures.

General Anesthesia vs. IV Sedation

During IV sedation, patients remain conscious – although sleepy – and can respond to instructions or directions if necessary. With general anesthesia, however, the body’s normal functions are completely suppressed. During your initial consultation at Stubbs Dental, the doctor will discuss the details of general anesthesia and address any questions or concerns you may have. 

When Is General Anesthesia Recommended?

In most cases, general anesthesia is only recommended when extensive dental work is being performed. Smile makeovers and full mouth reconstruction cases combine two or more procedures into one comprehensive treatment. In these instances, general anesthesia is extremely beneficial. Not only does this keep the patient comfortable during the procedure, but it also helps the doctor work more efficiently.

Benefits and Risks of General Anesthesia

The most significant benefit of general anesthesia is that it allows our doctors to complete extensive treatment plans in a single office visit. This can help reduce recovery time and maximize your budget. With general anesthesia, patients can have multiple procedures performed in one day, with no recollection of treatment. This sedation option ensures maximum patient comfort during even the most invasive procedures. 

While general anesthesia may be a good sedation dentistry option for many patients, it may not be for everyone. Although serious side effects are rare, there are still risks. These can include:

  • Allergic reaction to the sedative medications
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart attack
  • Complications regarding placement of the breathing tube
  • Rise or drop in blood pressure

Individuals who are in good general health have a significantly lower risk for these types of complications. It should be noted, however, that individuals may experience nausea or vomiting following administration of general anesthesia. This is common and should not be a cause for concern, as the symptoms usually diminish very quickly.

Contact Us to Learn More

Those who are undergoing minor dental procedures and are experiencing dental anxiety will most likely benefit from oral conscious sedation or IV sedation. However, if you are planning to have extensive dental work completed, general anesthesia may be the solution for you. To explore your sedation options, or to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors, contact us online. As a patient-centric practice, our entire team is dedicated to providing the best possible experience for everyone who walks through our door.

Stubbs Dental team

Stubbs Dental

The dentists at Stubbs Dental are committed to providing comprehensive dental care for your entire family. We are also proud to be affiliated with the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of LDS Dentists
  • Utah Dental Association

For more information about our services, contact us online or call (801) 305-4051 today.

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