Asleep Services
& Sedation

Sedation options for every patient

We get it. There are circumstances beyond time constraints and inconvenience that prevent people from receiving the dental care they need. Anywhere from 15% to 50% of Americans avoid the dentist because they experience severe anxiety or phobias.

Now consider that one in four people in the United States lives with physical, medical, and cognitive challenges. At Blende Dental Group we understand that sedation options are often the only ways to treat these patients safely and comfortably.

Methods of Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is a gas that helps decrease anxiety and allows you to feel more relaxed when inhaled.

It is administered through a small rubber inhaler placed over your nose.

The recovery time is very short and the effects pass within minutes, so you’ll be able to drive yourself home. Nitrous oxide is best used for patients with mild anxiety and a short, uncomplicated dental treatment plan.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation involves taking a pill about an hour before your treatment, which makes you feel relaxed and drowsy.

You’ll still remain awake during your treatment so you can interact with and respond to the dentist.

The sedative effects can last for up to four hours. The most commonly used medications are Halcion or Valium.

Intravenous Sedation

Intravenous Sedation induces a lower level of consciousness, which means that you’ll sleep through your procedure.

IV sedation is fast acting, taking effect within one minute, and can be controlled to increase or decrease the level of sedation safely and precisely. For people who have deep phobias of dental work, IV sedation allows them to sleep through the treatment with no discomfort, trauma, or memory of the procedure.

It’s predictable, comfortable, and ensures that your dental treatment can be easily completed. The recovery is simple and quick.

General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia produces a state of unconsciousness where patients are completely asleep during their treatment.

General anesthesia is fast acting, taking effect within one minute, and can be controlled to increase or decrease the level of sedation safely and precisely.

For people with special needs —physical or mental disabilities, recovery from an addiction, or complex medical conditions —general anesthesia may be the safest option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers for your most frequent questions.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation Dentistry is dental treatment combined with any anesthesia modality. It involves a range of sedation, from fully awake and alert to asleep and unaware. We will work with you to determine the best approach for you and your situation.

What types of anesthesia do you offer?

We are one of very few dental groups in the nation offering the complete array of sedation options, including:

  • Oral conscious sedation (pills)
  • Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
  • I.V. sedation (intravenious)
  • General anesthesia

General anesthesia can be delivered in our office by our anesthesiologists or at any of the hospitals where we are on staff.

Is general anesthesia safe?

General anesthesia is the most dependable of all sedation modes because it enables medication to be accurately dosed and a patient’s response to be accurately monitored.

How long is the recovery from I.V. sedation or general anesthesia?

Because dental procedures can be minimally invasive, keeping the level of anesthesia light but effective is critical in planning the case with the anesthesiologist. Oftentimes, recovery takes place in a matter of minutes. We always recommend that patients go home and rest for the remainder of the day following their procedure. Most people will resume normal activities the following day. Patients who are medically compromised or have certain disabilities may be advised to spend one night in the hospital to monitor their health and ensure a comfortable recovery.

If I haven’t been to the dentist for many years, how many appointments will I need?

It’s possible to have your mouth fully restored in one or two visits while you are asleep – and with no pain. Contact us to find out if this method is right for you.

What dental specialists are part of your team approach?

Our team consists of general dentists, endodontists (who specialize in performing root canals), periodontists (gum and tissues), oral surgeons (bone and supporting tooth structures), and pediatric dentists (serving children). We coordinate the procedure with these specialists for you, who all work in concert while you sleep.

Does one need to overcome fear, anxiety, or phobia to receive dental treatment?

Many people are fearful of the dentist. In fact, 1 in 7 have a dental phobia. If you are afraid at any level, you can receive dental treatment in a way that feels comfortable to you. Our practice has a 40-year reputation in the field. We use many techniques, including sedation dentistry, to help those who are fearful receive the dental care they need.

What is the difference between conscious sedation and other forms of sedation?

Conscious sedation typically involves inhaled nitrous oxide (“laughing”) gas or pills taken by mouth, which provide relaxation and drowsiness but not full sleep. Other forms of sedation involve the use of I.V. modalities and/or general anesthesia, which allow patients to sleep through the procedure. You have the opportunity to receive your treatment with no pain, no smells, no sounds, no sensations, and no memory of the procedure.

Which sedation option is right for me?

The Blende Dental Group designs a course of treatment that’s specific to each patient’s medical, emotional, and safety needs. Many dentists offer limited sedation options, such as oral medications or nitrous oxide, to reduce fear. While these methods work well for some patients, they can be insufficient for those who are unable to physically or behaviorally tolerate dental treatment or want to be completely unaware of the procedure. Patients who are medically compromised could be placed at risk if they are not treated in a facility with the appropriate medical personnel or if the dental team lacks the experience to deal with coexisting medical conditions. For these patients, intravenous sedation or general anesthesia are safer options. The Blende Dental Group works with each patient individually to determine the most appropriate sedation approach.

Who administers the I.V. sedation or general anesthesia?

At the Blende Dental Group, an experienced anesthesiologist – not the dentist – administers I.V. sedation and general anesthesia. This safeguard sets us apart from other practices and allows our dental specialists to focus solely on dentistry. Since we treat medically at-risk patients, it is our responsibility to provide the greatest level of safety for everyone involved.

Will I need to have a ride home?

If you have nitrous oxide, you may drive yourself home. However, if you have treatment using oral conscious sedation, I.V. sedation, or general anesthesia, you will need to have a designated person drive you home.

I don’t want to come to your office alone. May I bring someone with me?

Of course. We encourage you to bring a reassuring companion, partner, spouse, or parent to your consultation and treatment appointment.

While researching dentists using general anesthesia, I’ve found that the few other places that offer it are usually dental schools. How does treatment at the Blende Dental Group differ from treatment at dental schools?

Dental schools are academic institutions. They rely on students with limited clinical experience to provide the majority of the care under an instructor’s supervision. Many schools have a waiting list that’s several months long. At the Blende Dental Group, we remove those barriers and accommodate patients who require same-day service.

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