Sedation Dentistry From First Class Smiles
Comfortable Dental Care
Do you feel anxious when you have a dentist’s appointment coming up? Maybe you’ve avoided visiting a dentist for years out of nerves or outright fear? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
If you feel fear or anxiety about going to the dentist, you have a variety of treatment options at First Class Smiles to help you get the care you need.
Dental Anxiety Is Common, But We Can Help
Dental anxiety is the number one reason people avoid the dentist. In fact, it’s estimated that one in four adults experience fear or anxiety around going to the dentist.
People who fear the dentist often fall into a “cycle of avoidance.” They avoid regular care until they experience some sort of dental emergency which requires invasive treatment, in turn creating an even higher level of anxiety.
Even if a person with dental phobia forces themselves to go to the dentist, they’re tense and anxious throughout their visit.
It doesn’t have to be this way! New pharmacological and behavioral treatment options are available for those who experience any level of dental anxiety.
The First Class Approach to Sedation Dentistry
At First Class Smiles, we are trained to be sensitive to dental phobias. We understand that dental anxiety usually comes from personal experience, and above all we’ll work with you to make your every visit to our Des Plaines office pleasant and comfortable.
If you suffer from a painful dental condition like TMJ/TMD, your anxiety may be especially high. That’s why it’s so important to find the right practice that can help you work through your anxiety to deliver the relief you need.
We’ll try to help you relax during your visit by discussing your needs in a non-clinical environment before any procedure.
Dr. Morrison is licensed by the State of Illinois to provide anesthesia, and is a registered member of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology.
He offers his patients a variety of sedation options, including:
- Inhalation Sedation (Laughing Gas)
- Oral Conscious Sedation (Medication + Laughing Gas)
- IV Sedation (Sleep through your whole appointment)
Our team of professionals monitors your vital signs to ensure your safety throughout the procedure.
We know how to help you overcome dental anxiety using a combination of behavioral strategies and pharmacological techniques. So put your fears to rest, because we’ve got you covered!
What to Expect With Sedation Dentistry
If you’re considering sedation, or expecting it for an upcoming procedure, here’s what you can plan for before, during, and after your procedure.
STEP 1 - Consultation
If you’re considering sedation dentistry, the first step is scheduling a consultation with First Class Smiles.
Our doctors will listen to your wants and needs, and examine your mouth and medical records to determine if sedation is right for you. You may not be a candidate for dental sedation if you suffer from complications, including obstructive sleep apnea, heart complications, weight conditions, or the use of certain medications.
If you’re a candidate for sedation at our Des Plaines office, we’ll help you determine the type of sedation that’s right for you.
STEP 2 - Pre-Op
Adults: You must not drink non-clear liquids or eat any food for at least eight hours prior to your appointment, and you must not drink any clear liquids for two hours prior to your appointment.
Children: Your child should avoid non-clear liquids and food of any kind for eight hours prior to their appointment. They can have clear liquids for 2 hours prior to appointment, but we recommend their stomach be as empty as possible to avoid risk of nausea.
We recommend that you bring a small amount of their favorite juice to their appointment.
STEP 3 - Procedure
When you arrive for your appointment, it’s normal to be a little nervous. At First Class Smiles, our team is trained to gently guide you through the process of overcoming dental phobias.
We’ll make sure that you’re comfortable and build trust with you before carrying out any procedures.
STEP 4 - Recovery
If you’ve chosen laughing gas, the effects will wear off a few minutes after your procedure. You’ll be able to drive yourself home, and you’ll probably feel well enough to continue your day.
If you’re chosen oral or IV sedation, you’ll wake up in our recovery room. Since oral and IV sedatives take a longer period to wear off, you’ll need someone else to drive you home.
Once you’re home, relax! Your body needs time to recover after oral surgery. Sometimes, you’ll need to eat a soft diet or avoid certain foods for a few weeks.
Talk to your dentist if you have questions about your unique situation.
Types of Sedation Dentistry in Des Plaines
Laughing gas is a common anxiety-reduction technique used in dentistry and across the medical field. It’s inhaled through a small mask worn on the nose and causes feelings of relaxation and dissociation from physical sensation.
Laughing gas has successfully helped many anxious patients relax, and it can do the same for you.
Laughing gas won’t put you to sleep. You’ll still be able to hear and respond to directions, but don’t expect to be fully lucid.
While inhaling laughing gas, you may experience a range of feelings, from heightened relaxation to a full-body euphoria. Everyone will react a bit differently, but one thing’s for sure: it can safely and reliably manage your anxiety and reduce any physical sensations.
We’ll adjust the level of medication so it’s just right for you, and the effects should wear off quickly. Most patients are fully able to drive themselves home after procedures where laughing gas is used.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Another common method to reduce fear and anxiety related to visiting the dentist is oral sedation in the form of pills. Anti-anxiety medication helps your body and brain manage fear so you can stay calm and relaxed during your procedure.
There are different types of medication that we use to achieve different effects and meet different needs, but, with oral conscious sedation, you’ll likely feel a sense of calm, drowsiness, minor amnesia, and tingling sensations.
We can even combine anti-anxiety medication with laughing gas to provide acute anxiety relief and physical comfort.
Though the effect of combining the two may feel a bit more intoxicating, don’t worry: the combination is safe, and our highly-trained team will monitor your vitals and your reaction to the treatment.
While these sedatives may help you feel calmer and sometimes drowsy during dental treatment, you’ll still be conscious and able to communicate with the dental staff.
The effects of oral sedation can linger for a while, so you’ll need someone to drive you home after your appointment.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is administered directly into your arm or hand via a small needle. With IV sedation, patients breathe on their own while their vitals are monitored, and they’ll still be generally responsive to their dentist’s prompts.
However, IV sedation patients won’t remember or feel a thing, and it can be compared to comfortably sleeping through your entire appointment.
During IV sedation, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) administers and monitors intravenous anesthesia throughout your procedure.
This helps our dental team focus on your treatment while you feel deeply relaxed and comfortable.
IV sedation with a CRNA is more predictable than oral sedation, and provides total relief from all anxiety and sensation.
Our First Class Smiles team typically only uses IV sedation to help with extreme cases of dental anxiety or for procedures where the expected level of pain might be higher.
Just like with oral sedation, you’ll need to have a driver ready to take you home after the procedure. They’ll also need to monitor you, because some effects of the medication may linger for the rest of the day.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Any medical procedure involves risk, and sedation dentistry is no exception. That said, an experienced dentist with the proper education, certification, and permits (like our First Class Smiles doctors) can minimize these risks.
Dr. Morrison holds a license to perform sedation in the state of Illinois and has years of training and experience that helps him do so safely, effectively, and correctly.
When it’s done correctly, sedation dentistry is safe, even for children.
It’s important to note that dental sedation is not right for everyone in Des Plaines. Certain medications, obstructive sleep apnea, heart conditions, or weight can all increase the risk of complications and could mean that sedation dentistry isn’t right for you.
During your consultation at First Class Smiles, our expert, knowledgeable doctors will be able to assess if dental sedation is right for you.
Proper Sedation Procedures for Your Safety
The First Class Smiles team will monitor your health and well-being throughout your treatment. We’ll explain everything about your procedure, treatment, and sedation, if any, so you can prepare for what to expect after your treatment is complete.
This includes if you’ll need to plan for a ride home, and if you’ll need to make changes to your diet during your recovery.
Ask Us Anything!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about sedation dentistry at First Class Smiles. You can ask about the dosage of the sedative being used, the training and experience of your dentist and support staff, and any other questions you might have.
We won’t move forward with your treatment until you’re sure that we have answered all of your questions to your full satisfaction.
Experience Anxiety-Free Dentistry at First Class Smiles
To learn more about your dental sedation options with First Class Smiles, please request a consultation online, or give us a call at (847) 824-3536.
Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be happy to help you, and we look forward to helping you enjoy relaxing, anxiety-free dental treatment.