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Sedation Dentistry

Imagine undergoing a complex dental treatment like a root canal, multiple crowns, or removal of wisdom teeth. When your treatment is complete, you have no recollection of the time it took, the noise or the discomfort you were expecting. We are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:

  • A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
  • A hard time sitting still for long periods of time or a strong gag reflex
  • A hard time getting (and staying) numb from local anesthetics

Can you put me to sleep for dental work?  What levels of sedation are available to me?

The goal we all want to achieve is safe and comfortable completion of needed dental work.  Dr. Wicklund is licensed by the State of Washington to provide moderate conscious sedation by intravenous delivery and/or a pill and has many years of experience performing sedation and dental work. While patients may believe they slept during a procedure due to the effects of the sedative medication, maintaining verbal responsiveness and constant monitoring of vital signs is done.

Sedation dentistry is performed with mild or moderate sedation.

  • Mild Sedation —  Used to help patients with mild anxiety relax better during longer dental procedures or more complex situations. Mild sedation may be administered through use of nitrous oxide/oxygen (laughing gas). You remain awake, but relaxed and sleepy throughout the entire procedure.  Patients are allowed to drive their cars after having nitrous oxide/oxygen (laughing gas).
  • Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate to high levels of dental anxiety and for patients who need long or more complex procedures accomplished. Moderate conscious sedation may be administered by swallowing a pill or through use of an intravenous catheter (IV).  If a patient chooses to not have memory of the dental appointment, IV sedation is needed. To have moderate sedation by pill or IV, a family member or friend must drive the patient to and from the appointment and stay with the patient for four hours.

How are the sedatives given again?

  • Inhalation — Nitrous oxide and oxygen, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
  • Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. You will be given a prescription pill which, taken an hour before your appointment, will have you relaxed by the time you sit in the dental chair.
  • IV— Dr. Wicklund starts and maintains full control of the IV during the appointment.  Full vital signs monitoring with cardiac rhythms and capnography (exhaled carbon dioxide measurement) is performed.

Please contact Wicklund Dental to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for you.