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Sedation Dentistry




What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation for dentistry, often referred to as “Sleep Dentistry” is the use of medications to relax patients and reduce anxiety during dental procedures.  While you sleep, all dental treatment will be completed in a pain free and comfortable environment.  We aim to make sedation dentistry your best dental experience yet!

Is Anesthesia Safe?

Anesthesia has advanced greatly since its first use by a dentist in 1846. Safety is our primary concern. All medications administered are safe and carry minimal risks.  The side effects are minimized when administered and monitored properly. All safety equipment is on hand and the dentist anesthesiologist will never leave the room during the sedation. Our anesthesiologists conduct a thorough pre-anesthesia assessment to ensure optimal safety. 

Is There More Than One Type of Sedation?

Yes, anesthesia involves a continuum of sedation.   Our dentist anesthesiologists will evaluate the proper anesthetic plan for each patient based on the patient’s medical history and treatment plan.   The levels of sedation include:

Mild Sedation: Sometimes known as “oral sedation”, this form of sedation is for mild anxiety relief. The patient will often take an elixir or pill and stay awake during the procedure, but will feel a sense of relaxation from the medications.  Patients can respond to verbal commands,  cognitive function and coordination are impaired; however, breathing is unaffected. 

Moderate Sedation: Involves intravenous (IV) medications. The patient can respond verbal to commands either alone or by light stimulation. No interventions are required to maintain breathing. 

Deep Sedation: Involves intravenous (IV) medications, in different combinations and often in higher dosage.  The patient cannot be easily aroused but can respond to repeated tactile or painful stimulation, while breathing unassisted.

General Anesthesia: Blocks response to any stimulation.  The patient cannot be aroused, even by painful stimulation.  The ability to independently breath is often impaired. This is often accompanied with no recollection of the procedure performed.  

What Is The Difference Between IV-Sedation & Oral Sedation?

IV sedation: is administered directly into the bloodstream and works rapidly to induce the intended level of sedation. The cocktail of medications induces anxiety relief and targets pain control.  This combination alters the patient’s state of awareness resulting in the patient experiencing almost no memory of the procedure being performed.

Pros:                              Medications can be titrated during the procedure to achieve the desired level of                                         sedation
                                         Level of sedation can be adjusted according to patient’s response
                                         Minimizes physical and behavioral movement
                                         Allows for more dental treatment to be completed 
                                         Recovery time in the office is minimal

Cons:                             You will need an escort to drive you home

Oral sedation: is administered in either a pill or drink form into induce relaxation.  The patient is somewhat relaxed but can still respond to commands and stimuli. 

Pros:                              No needles involved
                                         Patient is awake and responsive                                        

Cons:                             Longer induction time
                                        Shorter dental treatment completed

Who Is Administering the Anesthesia?

A Dentist Anesthesiologist will administer the medications and monitor the patient. A Dentist Anesthesiologist is a dentist that has completed a post-doctoral residency in anesthesiology after completion of four years at an accredited Dental school. The post-doctoral residency consists of at least two years of medical based anesthesiology, which includes providing anesthesia in operating room, as well as outpatient (office-based) procedures.

Why Should I Use A Dentist Anesthesiologist? 

A Dentist Anesthesiologist is specifically trained to do provide ambulatory anesthesia in the dental office. The residency consists of a combination of clinical-hospital based training, supplemented with an office based experience.  In addition, their training was complemented by didactic lectures and seminars to develop highly competent practitioners.  A Dentist Anesthesiologist will carefully evaluate a dental patient to determine and deliver the appropriate sedation or general anesthetic that is needed.  This highly tailored training allows the Dentist Anesthesiologist to safely manage  and ameliorate any complications that may arise, ultimately providing an unsurpassed margin of safety in the care of the  dental patient.

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Read what people are saying about us.

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“All my life I wanted beautiful straight, white teeth. At the age of 39, I had braces and still my teeth were too small and discolored. You told me veneers would greatly improve my smile. It took only two painless visits and my teeth were gorgeous. It took 66 years, but now I have the smile I always wanted.”

John D

“After only one visit, I'm very confident that this was the best choice for a new dentist. The staff is more than friendly; that's so important to me. I feel that my needs are in very capable hands. Perhaps, I may even look forward to going to the dentist! ”

Steven C

For the last 10 years I have been a patient at Dr Rinehart's. My teeth were in a degraded state when I first arrived but over the years Dr Rinehart has provided me everything from routine maintenance to porcelain and gold crowns and he has done so with speed, technical quality and caring comfort that leaves other dentists in the dust! Dr Rinehart is a genius of some kind-he restored my smile! Also, I am not an easy patient to have as I abhor dental pain of any kind and my teeth seem to be extremely sensitive to most instruments-I may even be called a "Scared y cat" as I am genuinely nervous even during a cleaning-but the team of good folks in Dr Rinehart's office-Karen, Chris, Julie, Sarah, Mindy to name a few, are truly compassionate and fun people. They function almost as a family and obviously have fun while working hard for their patients-there is love in that office. They are truly gifted care-givers!

Specifically, I had a severely cracked tooth that simply shattered below the gum line and I was faced with the choice of a bridge OR an implant. I only know one thing about bridges for tooth repair....people complain endlessly about the accumulation of food. For me the choice was obvious-I had to have an implant! Chewing is terribly important to me as I had lost the sense of smell as a child and the tactile pleasure from chomping down on a good steak or munching on a caramel apple is a BIG DEAL to me-a source of much pleasure!! An implant is a good investment in not just dental health but worry-free eating! Folks, thanks to your efforts and Dr. Rinehart's magical touch - NO SWELLING & NO PAIN... In truth, I was actually scared about this implant as drilling into one's jaw sounds like a 2 week vacation to North Korea! Frankly, I am amazed - - I filled the prescription for the Tylenol and took 2 before bed as a precaution - even though I had no pain... and awoke the next day to nothing unusual. This implant is undetectable. It feels as at home in my mouth as my molars! Dr. Rinehart is a genius - I am in disbelief as to how innocuous and pain free the entire procedure was and the lack of follow-up pain and complications! Please feel free to use this as an implant testimonial for all your other scaredy-cats like me!

Did I mention that I am squeamish about all procedures?
Dr Rinehart and the angels of mercy that work with him made it unbelievably painless-It was a very simple process that is well planned and reviewed. The outcome is a beautiful tooth that stands up to the normal rigors of dental activity!

In closing I heartily recommend dental implants as a viable solution and Dr Rinehart as the care giver par excellence! Again many thanks to his loving and caring staff!

Greg B.

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