Sedation

Our team works hard to help you feel at ease in our office and many patients have expressed their appreciation of our naturally calming environment.

We welcome you to do what works for you to feel comfortable. Mutual trust, respect and communication are keys to a positive experience. Some like the stability of a rolled towel under their neck, a friend or family member in the room, familiar music with headphones, squeezing a stress ball, reminders to take deep breaths and other practices to relax. Often we've heard that the tension experienced after clutching to the dental chair for an hour is more severe than the dental procedure itself. There are times where sedation is appropriate for those with a real fear or anxiety especially when it is preventing them from receiving the care they need.

Sedation dentistry may be appropriate if you have...

  • anxiety
  • low threshold for pain
  • difficulty getting numb
  • trouble sitting still
  • very sensitive teeth
  • significant gag reflex
  • complex dental problems

Here are the two options we offer.

Nitrous

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Administered through a small mask that fits over your nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety, raise your pain threshold, and even make time seem like it's passing quicker than usual. As the gas begins to work, you will become calm, although you will still be awake and able to talk with Dr. Wappett or Dr. Lovejoy. At the end of your appointment, you'll resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear, so you can resume your normal activities immediately.

Oral Medications

An anxiolytic is a medication which inhibits anxiety. Such medications are administered with a prescription from one of our doctors. These come in a pill form and can be taken for pain or anxiety prior to your appointment. It is likely you will experience drowsiness and reduced mental alertness so this option requires that we plan ahead together. You should not drive, make important decisions or perform hazardous chores until you have recovered from the effects of these medications. You must have a trusted escort to and from your appointment. It is recommended you keep a chaperone with you for the day to supervise your activity and ensure your safety after your procedure. The effect of this medication is more long-lasting.

In certain situations we can use both nitrous and an oral anti-anxiety medication simultaneously. Please review our INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEDATION sheet and ask Dr. Wappett, Dr. Lovejoy or a member of our team if you are interested in learning more.  We make every effort to help you feel comfortable as you receive gentle, caring and quality dental treatment.

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Alaska photography by Tom Walker, Copyright 2014