Does going to the dentist make you nervous? Sedation dentistry is safe for every age.

At Sachem Dental Group, our multi-specialty general dentistry practice incorporates a variety of expanded services, reducing the need to send you and your family elsewhere for advanced care needs. One of the services we offer is in-house sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is a general term used to encompass a variety of different types of sedatives, analgesics, and anesthesia options. Depending on your circumstances and the type of treatment you need, you may have two or three types of sedation to consider. Each one offers different advantages over the others, allowing you to customize your Long Island dental care experience. 

Sachem Dental Group offers four different types of sedation for our Suffolk County patients to choose from:

Oral Conscious Sedation

Do you prefer to daydream through your next appointment? Conscious oral sedation uses a prescription sedative that you take by mouth an hour before your scheduled procedure. Sometimes a second dose is taken at the time treatment is about to begin.

Although oral sedation patients are still conscious (and able to answer simple questions or instructions,) most experience amnesia. As a result, you typically won’t remember anything that happened during your sedation appointment. This characteristic makes oral sedation a great solution for people who want the maximum amount of relaxation without any added IVs. 

Nitrous Oxide

Laughing gas is a tried and true analgesic that’s safe for people of all ages. With relatively few contraindications, most individuals can request nitrous oxide sedation during any dental appointment (including cleanings or simple fillings.

Nitrous is delivered via a soft, sometimes scented, nosepiece. Once we turn it on, it takes a few minutes to start working. When your appointment is completed, it takes about five minutes to completely wear off. You can safely drive yourself home afterwards, since there aren’t any lingering side effects. 

Unlike other types of dental sedation, laughing gas reduces your perception of pain while you maintain full consciousness. Although you’ll be aware of all of your surroundings, you’ll just feel less concerned about them. And as the name suggests, some people tend to feel lighthearted or experience a mild “buzz,” like you would with a couple of glasses of wine. 

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV sedation is deeper than oral conscious sedation and provides more predictable levels of sedative effects. Since the medication is delivered through an intravenous line in your arm or hand, the drip can be adjusted throughout the length of your appointment. 

IV sedation is fast-acting, so that you feel the effects within a matter of seconds, rather than minutes. It allows us to maintain a consistent level of sedation throughout the length of your appointment, then select the exact moment at when the sedative is turned off (unlike medications taken by mouth.)

General Anesthesia

This type of “sedation” is actually an anesthesia where you’re entirely “put under.” It’s performed by a licensed anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist in surgical clinics, outpatient facilities, and hospitals. General anesthesia is needed for situations involving complex cases, treating individuals with delicate medical conditions, or those with special needs. 

Who is Qualified to Offer Sedation Dentistry? 

When you’re choosing a sedation dentist in Long Island, you need know which types of sedation they offer and are certified for. Simply being a dentist does not make a practice qualified to provide general anesthesia or sedation to their patients. 

At Sachem Dental Group, our sedation dentists have advanced training and certification for the type of sedation you’re receiving, along with advanced life support management (BLS) skills. For instances calling for general anesthesia, we have a licensed anesthetist visit our practice or meet us in the hospital, depending on which services need to be rendered. 

To ensure your safety, all sedation dental staff have advanced basic life support (BLS) certifications specifically for situations involving these unique treatments. Throughout the duration of your appointment, our dentist and staff will monitor your vitals (including respiratory rate, pulse oxygen levels, and heart rate) so that everything remains consistent and at appropriate levels. 

Visiting a multi-specialty general practice allows you to take advantages of comprehensive care — along with dental sedation — in one location. Most of our patients can complete their treatment in-house, rather than visit a surgical center for the same level of care. We put your safety and comfort first, as we would a member of our own families. 

Things to Plan for During a Sedation Appointment

Unless your procedure is being completed with nitrous oxide, you’ll need to have someone with you to drive you to and from your dental appointment. You will be too drowsy to drive or operate heavy machinery for several hours, so bring a trusted friend or family member to your visit. They’ll likely need to stay with you once you get home, until you feel like yourself again later in the day. 

In certain situations, some people experience nausea as a side-effect of their sedative medication. It’s important to have someone nearby until all of the sedatives have worn off. This can take several hours. To keep you safe during your appointment, we ask that you don’t eat or drink anything prior; the visit will be planed early on in the day, so that you won’t have to go very long feeling hungry. Having an empty stomach ensures your safety should you feel nauseated at any point. 

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Requesting dental sedation is a smart option for our patients who need extensive treatments, feel anxious about going to the dentist, or have had bad experiences in the past. At Sachem Dental Group we believe that safe sedation options empower our patients with the resources they need to get the care they deserve. 

If you’re putting treatment off or too nervous about seeing a dentist because of past encounters in other offices, we invite you to schedule a brief consultation at Sachem Dental Group. Our Suffolk County sedation dentistry team has the resources you deserve to feel comfortable and confident about your oral health. Contact us today to find out how we can help!