Sedation Dentistry

Fear and anxiety are two of the most common reasons people avoid the dentist. Studies show that almost 36% of Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety. This dental phobia can lead to serious oral health problems down the road. When left untreated, dental issues can worsen and lead to pain, tooth loss, and infection.

At Foley and Le Oral Surgery, we don’t want dental anxiety to keep you from getting the dental care you need. That’s why we offer safe and effective sedation options. If you are searching for sedation dentistry in Boulder, CO, Broomfield, CO, Longmont, CO, Louisville, CO, or Lafayette, CO, we can help.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients who feel anxious about dental procedures to relax. There are different levels of sedation, from minimal to deep. The type of sedation you receive will depend on the procedure performed and your anxiety level. 

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all forms of sedation and general anesthesia and administer it in a safe and cost-effective manner. They must get continuing education in anesthesia and go through a rigorous office anesthesia evaluation and certification.

 Sedation dentistry has many benefits. It can help patients who:

  • Have high levels of anxiety or fear about going to the dentist
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Have sensitive teeth
  • Need multiple or complex dental procedures performed
  • Have had a bad experience or trauma associated with dental procedures

Types of Sedation

Several types of dental sedation are available, each with its own benefits.

  • Local Anesthesia: Local anesthesia numbs a specific area of the mouth. It is often used in combination with other forms of sedation or anesthesia.
  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas): A safe and effective way to help patients relax during dental procedures. It is one of the most commonly used sedation options because it is fast-acting and wears off quickly. Patients remain awake and able to communicate during the procedure.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: Oral sedation is another popular form of sedation dentistry. This type of sedation uses medication in pill form to help patients relax. The medication is usually taken about an hour before the procedure. Patients remain awake but may feel drowsy. With this type of sedation an adult driver must accompany the patient to and from the appointment as the patient cannot drive. 
  • IV Moderate and Deep Sedation: Moderate and deep sedation is a more potent form of sedation administered through an IV. This type of sedation can be used for more complex procedures. Patients remain awake but may not remember the entire procedure. With this type of sedation an adult driver must accompany the patient to and from the appointment as the patient cannot drive. 
  • General Anesthesia: General anesthesia is the strongest form of sedation dentistry. It is used for more complex procedures and requires that the patient be put to sleep. General anesthesia may be beneficial for any patients who are concerned that they may have some awareness during treatments. With this type of sedation an adult driver must accompany the patient to and from the appointment as the patient cannot drive. 

Before Sedation

Before you receive any form of sedation, you will need to have a consultation with your oral surgeon. During this consultation, your medical history will be reviewed, and any questions or concerns will be addressed. You will also be given instructions on how to prepare for your procedure. It is important that you follow these instructions carefully.

Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry

As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with sedation dentistry. These risks are typically minor and can be effectively managed by your oral surgeon. 

Some risks include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic reaction to the medication
  • Bruising at IV site
  • Dizziness and fainting

Sedation Dentistry in Boulder, CO

Oral procedures and surgery don’t have to be anxiety-inducing. If you live in Boulder, CO or the surrounding areas of Broomfield, CO, Lafayette, CO, Longmont, CO or Louisville, CO and you require sedation dentistry, our team at Foley and Le Oral Surgery can help. We offer various sedation options to ensure your procedure is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We can answer any questions about sedation dentistry and help you choose the best option for your needs. If you’re looking for an oral surgeon in Boulder, CO, Broomfield, CO, Longmont, CO, Louisville, CO, or Lafayette, CO, call (303) 444-2255 to schedule an appointment. We are located at 1420 28th Street, Suite 100, Boulder, CO.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes, sedation dentistry is safe. It is a common practice used for many years to help patients relax during dental procedures. Your oral surgeon will review your medical history and ensure you are a good candidate for sedation before proceeding.

How long does dental sedation last?

The effects of dental sedation vary depending on the type of sedation used. Nitrous oxide typically wears off within minutes. Oral and IV sedation can last for several hours.

How will I feel after dental sedation?

You may feel drowsy or tired after dental sedation. It is important that you have someone else drive you home and stay with you for the remainder of the day. You should not drink alcohol or operate heavy machinery for at least 24 hours after your procedure.

Will I remember my dental treatment?

It depends on the type of sedation used. Nitrous oxide does not usually cause memory loss. Oral and IV sedation typically results in diminished or total recall loss of the procedure.

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