"Knock me out, Doc:; just wake me up when it's over!" How many times have patients made this request when it comes to experiencing dental treatment? They wish to undergo the procedure but they would rather not be aware of what is going on during the dental procedure. Others' dental phobia is so severe that they avoid going to the dentist altogether. Research shows that 30% of our population avoids going to the dentist because of fear, and Docs Education estimates that the percentage is closer to 50%.
Luckily, there is an alternative in helping patients to deal with their anxiety and we do not have to "knock out" the patient, as so many request. Conscious sedation is a minimally depressed level of consciousness during which the patient maintains their own airway and reflexes, and responds to physical and verbal stimuli. As a result, the patient is more relaxed, less anxious, and most importantly can interact with the staff if needed. We no not have to support the patient's breathing, like in Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia. Conscious Sedation can be delivered orally or intravenously (IV). This allows the possibility to deliver dental treatments in minimal visits with no pain and little memory of the experience.
Dr. Hal Huggins, the father of holistic dentistry, discovered that using conscious sedation in dentistry has its added advantages: the immune system and the nervous system are challenged only once as opposed to several times during multiple appointments. This is especially important for patients with autoimmune disease, cancer, or neurological dysfunction. Therefore, when a patient undergoes IV conscious sedation, all the procedures including removal of cavities, replacing defective restorations, and surgical extractions can be performed all in one day. Thus, not only does IV conscious sedation resolve the issue of dental anxiety but also provides the added benefit of all dental needs being met within minimal office visits.
At White Sands Dentistry we have a doctor on staff, Dr. Huguette Duteau, who is certified in IV conscious sedation to serve patients who wish to get their dental needs resolved without going through the stress of multiple dental visits. You are welcome to call our office to set up a consultation to discuss the best options for achieving your overall dental health.