Intravenous Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)
Some of the patients we see at Cariboo Dental Clinic feel uneasy with the sounds of the dental drill, polisher as well as the feeling of having their teeth cleaned with our hand held scaling tools. For these kinds of patients, we offer the option of intravenous sedation, also referred to as dental intravenous anesthesia, or “Twilight Sedation,” to keep them comfortable during their dental treatment.
If you choose intravenous sedation your IV sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by our dentist and associate dentists, therefore eliminating the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same-day surgical facility.
How is the IV Sedation administered?
A thin needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube which allows the medication to reach your bloodstream and help you to relax. 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 and the needle retrieved. 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. Patients with medical conditions and/or using certain drugs may only be lightly sedated and may not fall asleep at all.
We aim to use as little IV sedation medication as possible to complete the dental treatment. 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. Rest assured, IV sedation is extremely safe.
There are various “levels” of sedation available to you in our office, including nitrous oxide analgesia and oral sedation or nitrous oxide in combination with oral sedation. We can tailor the anesthesia method to meet your needs. At all times, any anesthesia method you choose will be administered and monitored by our dentist and associate dentists in our safe and comfortable office environment.
Sedation dentistry is also a great option for the elderly, the disabled, and the fearful!
Sedation Dentistry for the Elderly
At Cariboo Dental Clinic, we take every precaution when treating our patients. We treat patients of all ages with a desire to maintain optimal oral health. As we age, our body naturally begins to change; and our teeth are no exception. One oral health issue facing many of our elderly patients is the increased risk for periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can lead to bone and tooth loss, which affects nearly every part of our daily lives. To be able to enjoy the foods we’ve loved all our lives, we need our teeth and gums. They allow us bite and chew food, support speech so we can engage in conversation—our teeth even help facilitate digestion.
We have found that many of our elderly patients tend to avoid dental visits for a variety of reasons, including: more pressing medical concerns, anxiety about treatment, transportation, or finances. Once oral health is neglected, it can reached an unmanageable point, allowing fear and embarrassment to further keep these patients away from the dentist.
For elderly patients embarrassed or fearful of their current oral state, sedation dentistry provides the opportunity for our dentist and associate dentists to treat these conditions while the patient remains relaxed until they “wake up” to improved oral health!
Sedation Dentistry for the Disabled
Patients with disabilities may find it especially difficult to access proper dental care because they must find a qualified dentist who is not only skilled, but also compassionate to their unique needs. At Cariboo Dental Clinic, we provide the expertise, cutting-edge equipment, and dedication to assisting special needs’ patients necessary to make them feel at ease in our care.
Disabled patients may face a number of unique challenges in maintaining their oral health as well. Their disability may make it difficult to brush or floss regularly; they may also have severe gag reflexes, or dry mouth as a result of medication. Sedation modalities can be used to alleviate the tension our disabled patients feel.
Sedation Dentistry for the Fearful
Dental phobia is a real, often overwhelming reality for thousands of people. Negative dental experiences, fear of needles or drills, and severe gag reflexes are just some of the reasons people feel anxious just thinking about going to the dentist.
At Cariboo Dental Clinic, we are committed to understanding the very real nature of your fears, and will do everything in our power to address them and make you completely comfortable during your visit. Not only will our staff treat you with delicacy and care, but IV sedation will allow you to experience dentistry in a whole new way. While engaging in a pleasant sleep-like experience, our dentist and associate dentists will work diligently to ensure you “wake up” with the results you desire.