Sedation or “sleep” Dentistry
Our office offers our patients the option of intravenous sedation, also referred to as “twilight sedation” or “sleep” or “sedation dentistry” for their dental treatment. This is what sets our office apart from most other dental practices; it is our niche, if you will.
Intravenous Sedation or “twilight sleep” helps you to be more comfortable and calm when undergoing oral surgery procedures. Intravenous sedation, or IV sedation for short, is designed to better enable you to undergo your dental procedures while you are very relaxed with minimum anxiety and discomfort. It will enable you to tolerate, as well as not remember, most of the procedures that can often be uncomfortable for you. IV sedation will essentially help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be “completely asleep”; but you will be comfortable, calm, and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep, a “twilight sleep.” Sometimes our sedation technique is called Ultralight General Anesthesia.
If you choose the option of intravenous sedation, your IV sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by Dr. Wiswell, which eliminates the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same-day surgical outpatient facility.
Our Qualifications to Administer Intravenous Sedation
As board certified oral surgeons and physicians, we are required to have a collective total of one year of dedicated anesthesia training in the hospital and outpatient setting. This extensive training allows for competent administration of medications that relax you and help make your surgical experience more comfortable. It also provides us with the knowledge and skill to manage any unforeseen complications that may arise. We are certified by other oral surgeons from Montana on a regular basis and maintain current certification in Advanced Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Emergency medications and treatment protocols are reviewed and kept up to date regularly.
How is the IV Sedation Administered?
A very small needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube through which medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. At times a patient’s vein may not be able to sustain a needle for the length of the procedure. In this case, the medications will be administered as an injection into your arm. Both scenarios will achieve the same desired level of conscious sedation. Once again, some patients may be asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may not sleep at all but will still be very comfortable.
The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to get the treatment completed. With IV sedation, a constant “drip” is maintained via the intravenous tube. At any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications, if necessary.
Along with IV sedation there are also different “levels” of sedation available to you in our office. There is nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) analgesia, oral sedation, or nitrous oxide in combination with oral sedation. Basically we can tailor the anesthesia to your need or desire. Once again, all modalities are administered and monitored by Dr. Wiswell in the safety and comfort of our office environment.
Sedation Dentistry for Children
Children who are very young or who have a high level of anxiety that interferes with the cooperation necessary for the oral surgeon to perform treatment may require some level of sedation. Sedation is also helpful for special needs children. There are many safe and effective medications available today that can help relax your child and promote a good environment for optimal and safe dental treatment. Conscious sedation is an option for children who are older (six years and above) and are mildly apprehensive. This highly effective method can be administered in oral form or in an inhalation method using nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” While very helpful in calming an apprehensive child, it is important to note that many insurances do not cover its administration. Deep intravenous sedation, as described above, is sometimes necessary for children who are unable by either age or maturity level to cooperate during oral surgery procedures.
Because of the need to assess the nature of the surgery and review your medical history, most often it is recommended that a consultation appointment with the doctor is made before deciding on the best manner to sedate you or your child for the specific treatment that is going to be performed.