During any discussion about major dental treatments the question of sedation frequently comes up. Though local anesthesia (Novocain) is generally sufficient for maintaining comfort during your procedure we work with you to create a relaxing environment in several different ways. Among these are soothing décor, pillows, blankets, private music and videos. We also offer a variety of sedation options for patients who are experiencing a high level of anxiety about their procedure.

The purpose of any dental sedation method is to ensure that the patient is physically and emotionally relaxed during the procedure. When performing dental implant procedures it is normal to utilize one of several different sedation methods. The three methods most frequently used are nitrous oxide sedation, oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation. Please see an explanation of each method below.

Dr. Wilhelm’s office is a certified sedation dental center in Minnesota and will help you determine the right sedation dentistry method for you. To learn more, contact Dr. Wilhelm by phone at 651-227-2427 or contact us by email.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a gas that can be mixed with oxygen and inhaled for a mild degree of sedation. A nose-piece is normally used to deliver this sedative. Dr Wilhelm has found that this dental sedation method does not work as well as the other methods we have described below, therefore he does not use this form of sedation in his practice.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation or anxiolysis can provide a higher degree of sedation than nitrous oxide. As the name implies this is a medication that is taken by mouth just prior to your dental appointment. A variety of medications including Valium and Halcion may be used for this purpose. Oral sedation or “sleep dentistry” as it is often referred to in advertisements, is quite effective for many people. However, because the effect of oral sedatives varies from patient to patient, Dr. Wilhelm will discuss this option with you to determine if it is right for you.

Most or all of the restorative or surgical procedures can be completed comfortably with this option. There is an amnesiac effect of these medications – which means that you probably won’t remember much about the procedure and will have a positive treatment experience. However, because it is an oral dosage of medication it is difficult to predict the level of sedation you will feel. Many people will “sleep” through their procedure, while others may be reasonably aware of their surroundings yet relaxed enough to proceed. If you feel that you might be at risk of becoming anxious if not completely “asleep” then you can opt for the next level of comfort management.

IV Sedation

IV sedation, or intravenous sedation as it is some times called, allows Dr. Wilhelm to customize the level of sedation for each patient’s specific needs. This method utilizes intravenous medications to achieve the exact level of sedation needed to provide comfort for the patient. If the dental procedure is a lengthy one, intravenous sedation is especially helpful, because medication can be added as needed to maintain the patient’s comfort level. With the intravenous method most patients do not remember what happened during the procedure, and will have a comfortable overall experience.

Anxiety during a dental appointment can create unhealthy stress, which can complicate many pre-existing medical conditions. IV sedation is considered “conscious sedation” which is the safest yet most complete level of sedation you can have. Your level of sedation is carefully monitored so that you remain responsive to commands and breathe on your own, yet experience no pain or wakeful experience.

It is important to note that not all people are able to receive IV sedation in an office setting. Certain health conditions require this type of dental sedation to be completed in a hospital setting where they are better able to serve urgent conditions. Prior to performing any procedure, Dr. Wilhelm thoroughly reviews your medical history before approving an in-office treatment. Dr. Wilhelm can also treat patients in the hospital should the need or desire be present.

For each dental sedation method, it is common for local anesthesia to be used in addition to the sedation method utilized. For patients who need some extra help with anxiety, rest assured that Dr. Wilhelm has a solution that will work for you.