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Anxiety-Free Sedation Dentistry

If you feel nervous or anxious before visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Thousands of people experience dental phobia, and dentists like Dr. Ray Carpenter are extremely understanding of these fears. Luckily, Dr. Carpenter offers a safe and effective solution to dental phobia: sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry or anxiety-free dentistry.

Sedation dentistry has been a complete game-changer for individuals that struggle with dental anxiety or phobia and have avoided the dentist for many years. Dr. Carpenter can use special techniques to safely put his Rancho Bernardo sedation dentistry patients into a deeply relaxed state during treatment so they can receive the care they need.

Nitrous Oxide

One of the common sedation dentistry techniques is nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask placed over your nose; as you inhale the gas, you will become very comfortable and calm. This effect lasts as long as you continue to breathe in the gas. Once the mask is removed, the effects wear off immediately.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Another safe and effective sedation dentistry technique is oral conscious sedation, which involves taking an oral pill prior to a dental appointment. The pill has a sedative effect that puts you into a sleepy, comfortable and relaxed state; you will still be awake and able to respond to verbal cues.

Dr. Carpenter has undergone special training in oral conscious sedation and has a permit to administer it in California. He has used this technique in Rancho Bernardo sedation dentistry patients for over a decade with incredible results.

Advantages of Oral Conscious Sedation over Other Methods

  • Simple
  • No needles
  • Well-tolerated
  • Cost-effective
  • Patients usually have no recollection of treatment

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything 12 hours before your appointment. One hour prior to your appointment, you will take an oral medication (usually Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium). The medication will make you drowsy but you will still be awake. You will need a loved one to drive you to your dental appointment.

Once you are comfortably positioned in an exam room, Dr. Carpenter will assess how deeply you are sedated. He may adjust the medication as needed; he will also numb your mouth to prepare you for treatment. You will be deeply relaxed, so this is not uncomfortable.

While you are sedated, our team will continually monitor your pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels. You will be able to respond easily to our team’s verbal cues and questions, but you will feel deeply relaxed and very comfortable. You may fall asleep during treatment, which is completely normal. We are able to wake you with a gentle nudge if need be.

After your treatment, your loved one should drive you home, where you will relax for the rest of the day. The sedative effect usually wears off a few hours after treatment. Side effects are very rare.

If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or what to expect, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Carpenter.

General Anesthesia

Most sedation dentistry candidates are able to enjoy a relaxing and comfortable experience with oral conscious sedation and local anesthesia (i.e., Novocain), but in certain cases, general anesthesia is the preferred method of sedation. This is usually true in cases where the patient needs extensive dental work performed in a short amount of time.

Dr. Carpenter can arrange for a dental anesthesiologist to come to the office and administer general anesthesia the same way it would be done for a surgical operation. Dental anesthesiologists are hospital-trained just like any other anesthesiologists. Your vital signs are continuously monitored to ensure the experience is completely safe.

Learn More about Sedation Dentistry

Let Dr. Carpenter give you the dental care you need comfortably and without pain. To learn more about sedation dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, please call (858) 487-2301 or email our office today.