ABOUT SEDATION DENTISTRY
What is Sedation Dentistry or “Sleep Dentistry”?
Sedation dentistry is an anxiety-free approach to dentistry. No longer will you need to fear a trip to the dentist’s office. Instead, you will finally be able to relax in the dental chair. Sedation has been used by physicians for over 50 years to perform operations or treatment on any part of the body, so why not the mouth? There are a variety of dental sedation options available, ranging from mild sedation to general anesthesia. Above all else, the goal of dental sedation is to achieve relaxation during routine and emergency dental procedures.
Dr. Gudger will discuss the sedation options with you so that you can choose the one you prefer and which the doctor feels is best suited to your circumstances:
Local Anesthesia – an anesthetic applied directly to the area of removal
Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, an anesthetic option used in congruence with other anesthetic options to calm anxiety during the procedure
Sedation Anesthesia – administered through an intravenous (IV) line that allows you to consciously drift in and out of sleep during the procedure
General Anesthesia – an anesthetic delivered to allow a deep sleep during the procedure
Does Dr. Gudger offer IV Sedation?
Dr. Gudger is one of a limited number of general dentists in the Raleigh area who offer IV sedation and who can complete most or all of your dentistry in his location. This includes dental implants, restorations, and cosmetic procedures while you are comfortably sedated.
Due to the relaxing effects of the medication, patients must have a friend or family member bring them to our office and return them home after their procedures.
What can I expect when under dental sedation?
As mentioned above, there are different types of dental sedation and the exceptions vary slightly depending on the type of sedation used. Here is some information on what to expect when undergoing each type of sedation:
Benzodiazepines are anti-anxiety medications that are taken orally before a dental procedure. When under the effects of this type of sedation, patients describe feeling “loopy” and uninterested with whatever procedure is being performed, despite being aware of what is happening. They produce a calming effect and impair memory formation. Since the effects of these medications can linger, a driver will be needed to drive you home.
Commonly known as “laughing gas” for its production of euphoric feelings, nitrous oxide is a form of inhaled sedation. When receiving nitrous oxide sedation, you can expect to have a small mask placed over your nose. As soon as you begin inhaling nitrous oxide gas, you will feel your body relax, but you will remain conscious. In some cases, you may fall into a light sleep. Once you stop inhaling the gas, you will quickly return to normal. Since nitrous oxide is only effective when being inhaled, you will be able to drive and return to your normal activities after undergoing nitrous oxide sedation.
IV sedation is delivered through the vein, which makes it easy to control the amount of sedation you receive. IV sedation is used to achieve a mild to moderate level of sedation. Many times we start with oral sedation to alleviate the fear of the IV. Since the effects of IV sedation linger after the procedure, you will need a driver and someone to stay with you until the medication wears off.
General Anesthesia / Monitored Anesthesia
We employ the services of a Dental Anesthesiologist to deliver general anesthesia or monitor patients with specific health concerns that would prevent them from sedation in a typical office. General anesthesia allows us to achieve greater levels of sedation and anesthesia. We can utilize an anesthesiologist to treat patients that have severe phobias, gag reflexes and patients with different medical conditions, and tolerances. Having an anesthesiologist also allows us to treat most autistic patients and individuals that have intellectual challenges. The effects of general anesthesia will linger, meaning you will need a driver and someone to stay with you until the effects of the sedation have worn off.
Will I need to follow any special instructions after undergoing dental sedation?
With the exception of nitrous oxide, all other dental sedation methods require that you have a driver present to drive you home after the procedure. This is because the sedation effects will last longer than the procedure itself. Depending on the level of sedation you receive, it may also be advisable to have someone monitor you for the first 24 hours after your procedure. After receiving dental sedation, it is important to take it easy, drink plenty of water, and start out by eating stomach-friendly foods.
Who should consider Sedation Dentistry?
Dental sedation is ideal for individuals who experience feelings of anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist, as well as those who have an active gag reflex. Almost anyone can safely undergo dental sedation, however, there are a few exceptions. For example, pregnant women, people with allergies to benzodiazepines, those with sleep apnea, or those who are taking certain medications may not be ideal candidates for sedation.
Because safety is our priority, our office offers consultations to determine if dental sedation is appropriate and what form would be best for your individual needs. During your consultation, you will be greeted and welcomed into our dental family. Our doctors will get to know you, listen, answer any questions you may have, and establish a good foundation for your oral health.
How do I get started?
Call a treatment coordinator at Lifetime Family Dental to discuss your sedation options.
World-class Implant and Sedation Dentistry right in your neighborhood. Schedule your appointment today.
In a world of corporate takeovers – even in the dental industry – isn’t it nice to know that you can still find excellent patient care that exceeds expectations from a locally owned practice and a doctor supported by a team of dental professionals who pay meticulous attention to detail — and a doctor who calls and texts patients personally after surgery.
Dr. Chris Gudger specialize in a full range of dental procedures, from General and Cosmetic Dentistry to Dental Implants Treatments and Sedation Dentistry. Working in a state-of-art dental facility with a completely digital workflow, the doctor and his team of dental professionals are prepared to solve the most complex dental problems all under one roof, often in just one day—no need to travel to different offices, meeting with multiple doctors.
DR. CHRIS GUDGER
Bringing state-of-the-art technology to caring, comfortable, and comprehensive dentistry.
If you're considering Dental Implants, including the popular All-on-4 or Teeth-in-a-Day treatments, contact Dr. Chris Gudger, a second-generation dentist at Lifetime Family Dental. Dr. Gudger is regarded by his patients as a caring, compassionate implant expert and has meticulously placed and restored dental implants for over 10 years – with thousands of successful implant procedures to his credit.
While he is a top implant dentist, Dr. Gudger is also an expert in Sedation Dentistry and offers a full complement of options for patients who experience any anxiety surrounding their dental care.
With such comprehensive dental knowledge and extensive experience, Dr. Gudger is prepared to solve the most complex dental problems with various procedures all done under one roof.
As soon as you walk in, I want you to know you’ve found an extraordinary place featuring the absolute latest technology in a family-friendly environment. It’s, hopefully, unlike any other dentist around.