Physicians have already set the standard of treating patients using sedation in the U.S. over the past 30 years. It is nothing new to patients for operations on knees, feet, wrists, ears, noses, everything. Patients ask dentists for sedation and the dentists do everything they can to talk them out of it. This is because most dentists do not want to go through the additional training and accreditation process that is necessary to sedate patients.
You wouldn't think of having an ear operation or a nose operation without sedation. But you move one inch to the teeth and it becomes acceptable to endure time-consuming, strenuous, noisy, and uncomfortable procedures on the most sensitive, personal part of the body (the mouth) with no sedation. Dentists attempt to work outside of the already established standard of using sedation. Hence, we as dentists treat only 50% of the population while physicians treat over 90%.
I have found that fearful patients mentally have no problem being sedated for dental treatment. You ask a nervous patient, "Would you rather have this work done in six appointments over the next two months or in one appointment while you sleep?", and they look at you like you're crazy. "Put me to sleep" is all they say. Sedation for certain types of dental care has been used for over 30 years. If you asked a hundred patients who have had their wisdom teeth removed how they had it done, most would say they were put to sleep to have them removed.
The problem is that dentists say, "Oh wisdom teeth extractions and root canals and drilling on teeth is not bad enough." This is why 50% of the population does not go to the dentist. The patient is the one who needs to determine which procedures warrant sedation, not the dentist. If you feel that sedation, which is the standard of care for the rest of the body, is necessary for your dental care, call us.
Type of Sedation
The sedation we utilize is oral sedation (pills). We use pills for several reasons.
- Many of our patients are needle-phobic.
- With oral sedation, we can work on patients for a longer period of time.
- Oral sedation is very safe.
- The pills stay in a patient's system for several hours after the appointment, helping reduce discomfort after procedures are completed.
Another reason that we use this oral sedation technique is because of its safety. The pill that we use is a common sleeping pill. In 1996, for example, 1,700,000 of these pills were taken by people, not on an annual basis, not on a monthly basis but on a daily basis. The vast majority of these tablets were taken by patients at home to help them sleep at night. We give our patients more than they would take at home, but we use state-of-the-art, hospital-type monitoring equipment to assess the patient's pulse, oxygen saturation in the blood, and blood pressure.
How You Will Feel
Basically, you will be able to respond to verbal commands through the appointment; you will not be "totally asleep" or lose consciousness. The most common comment that we hear is "I remember taking some pills and the next thing I remember is waking up with my teeth fixed." Most patients remember nothing about their treatment. A few will remember a little, usually at the end of the appointment, when we are getting them ready to go home. You will need someone to bring you to our office on the day of your sedation appointment and you MUST have someone take you home afterwards.
"I am a patient of Dr. Schleicher and I will never go to another dentist. Dr. Schleicher is the best of the best! After not having been to a dentist for many years (approximately 10 years,) I needed a lot of dental work. Sleep sedation dentistry is the way to go. I needed a deep cleaning, root canal, crown and 5 fillings done. This would have consisted of 4 to 5 regular appointments. Dr. Schleicher gave me some medicine, I drifted off to sleep and woke up 4 hours later with all the work done. I highly recommend it to any fellow "chicken" I didn't experience any pain, sounds or any of the usual stuff that makes it hard for me to sit in the dentist's chair. The staff, surroundings and equipment are all designed to make you feel comfortable as well. I was also very impressed that Dr. Schleicher himself called me on a Sunday afternoon to check and see how I was doing after my Friday appointment. Dr. Schleicher, you are the BEST!! I would highly recommend you to anyone! "
J. K Houston, Texas