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Sedation Dentistry
Does the idea of having your teeth cleaned cause your heart to pound and your body to tense? Would you rather endure a toothache than make an appointment to have it fixed? If yes, you are not alone. Nine to fifteen percent of Americans experience dental phobia (anxiety or fear) that prevents them from going to the dentist and seeking treatment. If you experience fear or anxiety, have sensitive teeth, a low pain tolerance can't sit still in the chair, have a bad gag reflex, or need a lot of dental works done, then sedation dentistry might be the solution.

You will should be confident in knowing Dr. Neil Bergstrom has extensive training in Sedation Dentistry. He is also the only dentist in Enumclaw that performs IV sedation, which allows for continual adjustment of sedation level as needed for the patient and procedure.

What is sedation dentistry? Sedation dentistry is the use of medications to help patients relax during dental procedures. It is sometimes also referred to as "sleep dentistry", although patients are usually awake.

There are three levels of sedation at Enumclaw Dental Center:
•  Minimal sedation where you are awake but relaxed
•  Moderate sedation where you won't remember much of the procedure and may slur your words (formerly referred to as conscious sedation)
•  Deep sedation where you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened

Dentist offices may use three different sedation methods for people who experience dental phobias.
1.  Inhaled Minimum Sedation: The patient breaths nitrous oxide, "laughing gas" combined with oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. This combination of gases relaxes you. Your dentist controls the amount received and the effects wear off quickly when the procedure is complete. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself safely home.
2.  Oral Sedation: For minimal oral sedation, you are given a pill (usually halcion which is from the same family as valium), an hour before the procedure. You will need someone to drive you to and from the appointment. This is the most common form of anesthesia associated with sedation dentistry. Depending on the dose, it can range from minimal sedation or moderate sedation for a longer procedure. Some people become groggy enough to fall asleep but can easily awakened with a gentle touch.
3.  IV Sedation: This type of sedation is administered through a vein which causes it to go to work quickly. The IV allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation as the procedure progresses.

Deep Sedation: This level of sedation dentistry is the receiving of medication through an IV that make you almost unconscious during the procedure. You cannot easily be awakened until the effects wear off. You will still need a local anesthetic (numbing medication) at the site to relieve pain if the procedure produces discomfort. This type of sedation can only be administered by a dentist with a CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) program completion in deep sedation. Typically this is done by oral surgeons and maxillofacial surgeons and dental anesthesiologists.

Sedation Dentistry is proven to be safe and effective. It allows you to consolidate several appointments into one if you are in need of extensive work, or it allows you to relax during standard procedures.

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Seniors Get Cavities, Too
If you are a senior, you might think that you are in the clear for cavities, but that is not necessarily always true. In many cases, seniors get more cavities as they age for two reasons; because of the lack of saliva that is produced, and receded gums leaves the dentin more vulnerable to decay. A lack of saliva is not a necessary component of aging; however, it typically occurs as a side effect of illness and medication. If you are suffering from dry mouth and suffer from an onslaught of cavities, there are things that you can do to help yourself prevent cavities in the long run.

•  Be as vigilant as possible about using mouthwash in order to keep your mouth lubricated. Your dentist can recommend the best mouthwash to help keep your mouth moisturized.
•  Drink water as often as possible. The recommended amount is eight 8-ounce glasses per day
•  try to get as close to that as possible.
•  Watch your diet. The more caffeine, alcohol or acidic foods that you consume, the drier your mouth will become.

If these steps do not help, talk to your doctor about changing your medications to see if things improve. In addition, you can talk to your dentist about preventing cavities in your mouth by applying sealant to the surface of your teeth. Of course, it should go without saying, proper oral hygiene is essential. If you cannot brush your teeth after every meal, at the very least, brush and floss your teeth twice per day to give your teeth the best fighting chance at avoiding tooth decay.

Enumclaw Dental Center | | 360-825-6596
2660 Griffin Ave., Enumclaw, WA 98022



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