It is common and perfectly normal to have some degree of apprehension or anxiety prior to receiving dental treatment. Some people however, have stronger feeling in this regard than others. These feelings may have been produced by a less than pleasant past experience, stories told by family or friends, or by the nature of the dental procedure itself (wisdom teeth removal).
Whatever the cause, apprehension or anxiety can produce many unpleasant effects including heart palpitations, high blood pressure, upset stomach and trouble sleeping the night before the appointment. Many highly apprehensive patients avoid dental care for many years until their problems become so severe that they are forced to seek emergency care.
Dr. Chad Kasperowski understands this. Through his membership in the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology (ADSA) and his commitment to continued learning, he has achieved status of “Master” in the College of Sedation. As one of only a few general dentists in Northern Virginia to offer a full range of sedation options including IV sedation, he has the ability to remove the obstacles that prevent you from achieving the oral health you deserve.
What is Sedation?
Sedation can make practically all dental and oral surgical procedures more pleasant and safer for the apprehensive patient. During the procedure, the anxiety that many people have can be controlled by administering sedative medications (like Valium). A sedated patient will not only be more relaxed but may also have limited memory of the procedure performed. Local anesthesia (Novocaine) is still administered to block the pain sensations during the procedure and to keep the mouth numb during recovery.
How is the Medication Administered?
Dr. Chad Kasperowski and his staff have trained extensively to be able to safely administer all forms of conscious sedation. Sedative medications can be administered by breathing (nitrous oxide – laughing gas), orally (in liquid or pill form) or intravenously (IV).
- Nitrous oxide is an agent used to treat apprehensive patients and can be used either by itself or in combination with other medications.
- Oral medication allows the patient to take a sedative the night before for a restful night’s sleep and on the day of the procedure and may eliminate the need for an IV. However, oral medication takes time to work and has limits on how sedated you can safely become.
- Medication given intravenously (IV) has its effect rapidly so Dr. Kasperowski can give the precise amount needed for your level of anxiety. In addition, if more medication is needed during the procedure, the IV allows easy administration of additional medications.
How Am I Monitored During the Procedure?
Depending on the depth of the sedation being used, as well as your own medical condition, various monitors will be used during your procedure to ensure your safety. These monitors vary from automatic blood pressure cuffs to the use of pulse oximeters which, through a light sensor, measure the oxygen concentration in your blood. An EKG monitor is also used to monitor your heart rhythm as well as a device called a capnograph to monitor your breathing. Wireless stethoscopes are also used to monitor breathing in real time.
In addition to the monitoring procedures, Dr. Kasperowski and his trained staff will always be with you and will be observing you closely during your treatment.
Is Sedation Safe?
The use of sedation and anesthesia in dentistry has a commendable record of safety. You will be thoroughly evaluated prior to your sedation visit to ensure that you are good candidate. It is important to advise Dr. Kasperowski of all medications that you take as well as any changes in your health since your last visit.
In Virginia, a special permit is required to administer sedation. In order to qualify, Dr. Kasperowski has to provide evidence of advanced training in sedation and a site visit is required to certify that our office is compliant. The ability to handle emergency situations as well as having specific emergency medications and equipment is a mandatory part of the permitting process.
As Champions for Oral Health, Dr. Chad Kasperowski and his staff are committed to helping our patients maintain the health and function of their teeth for a lifetime. Don’t let dental anxiety get in the way of achieving your optimal oral health. Schedule a consult with us today.