Sedation Dentist Keeping San Antonio Calm
For many, a simple visit to the dentist may cause feelings of fear and anxiety. Dr. Klepper is one of few dentists in the San Antonio area that is licensed and able to provide patients with the option of intravenous (IV) sedation, as well as oral conscious sedation, which is available from both Dr. Klepper and Dr. Gonzalez. Though we always try to make our patients as comfortable as possible in our office, these methods may reduce anxiety and help some feel more relaxed while having their necessary dental work completed.
At your first appointment, we will discuss your overall health and medical history. If you feel comfortable, we will take X-rays and examine your teeth and supporting tissues. This will give us the information we need to determine which dental treatments are recommended to restore your smile. We will then discuss the different sedation options available, including IV sedation and oral conscious sedation, to find an option that suits you. During this appointment, it is important to give us a thorough medical history and disclose all prescribed medications and supplements that you are taking so that we may check for any potentially dangerous drug interactions with the sedation medications that will be used.
Who should consider sedation?
You may want to consider sedation if:
- You are fearful or anxious of dental treatment and dental instruments
- You have extensive dental needs that will require longer appointments
- You experience difficulty feeling numb using local anesthesia
- You have a sensitive gag reflex
- You suffer from any health issues, such as neck or back pain, which could lead to discomfort while sitting in a dentist's chair
What is IV Sedation?
IV sedation, also known as "Conscious sedation" or "Twilight sedation", is a method in which medications are administered through an intravenous line. The ability to administer the medications this way allows for a quicker, more predictable onset of sedation and allows Dr. Klepper the ability to increase or decrease your level of sedation as needed, quickly and comfortably. Shortly after administration, patients enter a relaxed, calm state that is maintained for the duration of the procedure. Though you are still conscious and able to respond to verbal cues throughout the procedure, it is the most effective method of reducing anxiety and overall awareness. Most patients become so relaxed that they close their eyes throughout the procedure. Dr. Klepper as well as one of his trained assistants will be with you throughout the entire procedure and you will NEVER be left alone. Patients’ vital signs (including heart rate and rhythm, oxygen levels, and blood pressure) are monitored continuously throughout the procedure, ensuring your safety.
Sedatives have an amnesic effect, so you'll have few, if any, memories of the visit. Because of how calm and relaxed patients are, it allows us the ability to complete more work than a typical appointment will allow and you can leave the office enjoying your new and improved smile.
Depending on your level of anxiety you may also be instructed to take a prescribed medication prior to your appointment. For both IV sedation and oral sedation, patients must have an escort bring them to and a pick them up from the office and stay throughout the procedure. See other pre-operative instructions.
What is Oral Conscious Sedation?
Oral conscious sedation is a method combining the use of prescription medication and nitrous oxide to achieve an appropriate level of drowsiness and relaxation so that a fearful patient can calmly receive the dental care he or she needs. Before leaving your appointment preceding the sedation, we will give you a prescription and advise you when to take the prescribed medication, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to your scheduled appointment. Once you arrive for your appointment we will gauge your level of relaxation. If needed, we can add the use of nitrous oxide or ask you to take an additional amount of your prescription medication. As with IV sedation, patient's vital signs (including heart rate and rhythm, oxygen levels, and blood pressure) are monitored continuously throughout the procedure, ensuring your safety.
Although oral sedation works well to relax patients and it is more effective than nitrous oxide alone, the effectiveness and onset of action are unpredictable in comparison to IV sedation in which we are able to quickly titrate the medications as needed.
For both oral conscious and IV sedation patients must have an escort bring them both to and from the office. See other pre-operative instructions. Neglecting your oral health can be costly for both your oral and overall health. Let us discuss with you how sedation may be able to help you overcome your dental anxiety and get the dental care you need.