Dr. Beck and her team understand that for many of her San Diego and Poway patients, any type of dental procedure can unearth significant fear and anxiety, particularly if it involves surgery. Wether it’s due to a general fear of the dentist, or a a bad dental experience in the past, Dr. Beck has an option to help alleviate your fear and help make your procedure be completed painlessly!
Even though many patients don’t feel the need for sedation as long as the area is thoroughly numbed, Dr. Beck understands that even the idea of oral surgery can cause significant fear and anxiety for some, which is why she offers the following sedations options to ensure optimal comfort for all her patients. Nitrous Oxide (“laughing gas”): Nitrous oxide is a safe and effect medication that is inhaled through the nose and provides mild anxiety relief. Patients are fully conscious and aware of their surroundings, and capable or driving themselves home from their procedure afterwards. It is not intended to put you to “sleep”.
Anxiolysis (light sedation)
Anxiolysis literally means the elimination of anxiety. For patients who are only a little nervous about their planned procedure, knowing that they will be completely numb throughout and not feel any pain during surgery, they prefer just a little ‘something’. For these patients, a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication similar to xanax or valium is prescribed to be taken one hour before the appointment. It is important to note that this option is often not powerful enough to combat moderate to severe anxiety and should only be considered by those who think they might be comfortable without any pre-medication, but prefer something to ‘take the edge off’. Some San Diego patients may become comfortable and relaxed enough to drift to sleep, but are easily aroused by a gentle touch or asking them a question. As with most sedation options, patients cannot be allowed to drive themselves home after the procedure if anxiolysis if received.
Conscious Sedation (light-moderate sedation)
With this sedation option, medication in the form of pills will be used to put you in a deeply relaxed state, though you may still be awake and able to carry on a conversation, although it might not be remembered. Most San Diego patients who choose this sedation option are pleased to report that they have little to no memory of their procedure. Because you would still be drowsy when leaving the office, you will not be allowed to drive yourself home following your procedure if performed with conscious sedation. Instead, you’ll need to arrange for transportation home from a trusted family member or a friend (sorry, no uber). It is important to note that not all patients are candidates for this type of sedation and that for severe anxiety, this option may not be adequate. Although patients are closely monitored throughout the procedure, some patients may not be candidates for this option due to potential breathing complications or if taking certain medications that may interfere or react with the sedation medication.
Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia
Just like in a hospital operating room, general anesthesia or deep sedation will only be performed by a board certified anesthesiologist and will put you completely asleep (“out”) for your oral surgery. Because this form of sedation is so strong, a breathing tube (“nasal cannula”) is utilized to maintain adequate oxygen concentrations, ensuring the highest level of safety.
Because your comfort is one of our top priorities (safety is the first), we always offer aromatherapy, headphones with soothing music, warm blankets, and a caring environment, complete with warm, moist, scented towelettes to refresh once the procedure is completed, regardless of your choice of sedation. Additionally, Dr. Beck is always available by phone or email after your procedure to answer any questions or concerns you may have after you get home. You won’t find a more genuine and caring dental surgeon than Dr. Beck, which is why so many San Diego dentists trust only her to care for their patients, family, and friends.
Contact Southern California Periodontics & Implantology in San Diego to learn more about sedation. Call (858) 924-0191.