Sedation Dentistry FAQ
Kennewick, WA – There are many reasons a patient may decide or need to use sedation dentistry. One of the main causes of a person’s neglect of their oral health is fear of receiving dental treatment. Whether due to dental phobia, anxiety, bad previous experience, extreme gag reflex, and many other reasons, sedation can help a great number of patients achieve optimal dental health that otherwise would simply avoid (not advised).
Dr. Winterton is uniquely trained as a general dentist to provide IV conscious sedation while performing dental treatment. After graduating dental school in 2011 from the University of Southern California, Dr. Winterton receiving his IV sedation training in the military during a 12 month intensive Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency. Dr. Winterton was able to hone his skills for years after while proudly serving in the US Air Force. Learn more about Dr. Winterton.
At Southridge Dental we offer a unique service to the Tri-Cities area as one of very few (if any) offices providing IV sedation for general dentistry including – root canals, crowns, fillings, implants, wisdom teeth, extractions, veneers or even less invasive treatments like cleanings and x-rays. In addition to receiving advanced training in IV sedation, Dr. Winterton has been training extensively and provides high quality dental work in many aspects of ADVANCED general dentistry including – removal of impacted wisdom teeth, implant placements, molar root canals, periodontal surgeries (osseous) and esthetic dentistry including veneers, porcelain crowns and fillings to name a few. Though he has great confidence in his skills and abilities, the patient’s wellbeing is always top priority and if a case is beyond the scope of his abilities, Dr. Winterton will happily refer to local specialists as needed when it is in the best interest of the patient.
We strive to offer a safe, calming environment to alleviate any stress that a dental setting may inherently convey. Please take a virtual tour of our office.
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women
- Patients with severe lung, kidney or liver diseases
- Patients with allergy to benzodiazepines
- Patients with some heart problems
- Patients with glaucoma
- Advanced age
- Severe obesity or anorexia
- Persons with alcohol or drug addiction
Other non-medical contraindications for having IV sedation dentistry include:
- Inability to obtain an escort to see the patient home after the sedation
- The need to be in a responsible position within 24 h of sedation.
- Advanced patient monitoring of heart rhythm and pulse (3-lead EKG)
- Continuously real-time monitoring of respirations (capnography)
- Continuous monitoring of blood oxygen levels (pulse oximetery)
- Blood pressure continuously monitored and recorded at 5 minute intervals throughout the procedure.
- Use of a special technique called “titration” to customize each sedation to the individual patient.
In the unlikely event of an emergency or untoward event, reversal meds are always on hand (though never used – so far – knock on wood) and Dr. Winterton has special training in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) if needed. Our office is specially equipped to handle emergencies with a crash cart providing emergency medications and devices to safely treat and reverse a myriad of medical conditions.
- You may not have anything to eat or drink (including water) for eight (8) hours prior to the appointment.
- No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
- A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, drive the patient home, and stay with the patient after the appointment until the effects of the drugs wear off.
- The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
- Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes.
- Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
- Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
- If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
- If you take routine oral medications, please check with us prior to the date of your treatment for special instructions.
Any anesthesia carries some risk. Some of the common risks associated with conscious sedation are:
Allergic reactions (previously unknown) to any of the medications used.
The effects of the anesthetic or sedative medications may cause prolonged drowsiness, light-headedness, headache, visual disturbances, amnesia and nausea. Nausea and vomiting, although not common, are potential side effects. Bed rest, and sometimes medications, may be required for relief.
You MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult to drive you to and from surgery, and stay with you for several hours until you have recovered sufficiently to care for yourself. During your drive home, your seat in the car should be in the reclined position. When you arrive home, lie down with your head elevated. During recovery time (normally 24 hours), you should not drive, operate complicated machinery or devices or make important decisions, including watching children and cooking. ABSOLUTELY NO RECREATIONAL DRUGS OR ALCOHOL 24 hours before or after treatment.
You must have a completely empty stomach. It is vital that you have nothing to eat or drink for eight (8) hours prior to your anesthetic. To do otherwise may be life-threatening! Take regular medications or prescriptions prescribed by your physician, unless told to do otherwise. You may have clear fluids (water, tea, Gatorade, plain jello, and apple juice) up to two hours before your appointment.
You must report any and all personal illness or allergies (including diabetes) – no matter how insignificant they may seem. There may be some discomfort, swelling or bruising at the site where the drugs are placed into a vein, which may include vein irritation, called phlebitis. Sometimes this may progress to a level of discomfort where arm or hand motion may be restricted. Further medication or care may be required, which may require hospitalization.
IV sedation is a medical procedure that in very rare instances carries with it the risk of brain damage, stroke, heart attack or death.