Sleep Dentistry

Dentists are supposed to cure pain, not create it.”

Are you one of the millions of Americans who only visit the dental office when the pain in their mouth becomes worse than their fear of the dentist chair? Do you put off calling for a dental appointment because the very thought of seeing a dentist is frightening? You are not alone. One estimate suggests that 90 million people in the United States avoid visiting the dentist because of pain anxiety. Others suffer from a severe gag reflex when a dentist tries to do anything with their teeth. The Placerville Dental Group offers you a broad range of solutions for both of these concerns.

The Simplest Form of Pain Management

The first goal of our Placerville dentists is preventing patient pain and curing anxiety during dental procedures.  For most patients, topical analgesics, such as novocaine or xylocaine, provide a painless dentistry experience. After applying topical painkillers, we may follow that up with an injection, depending on the procedure. This form of pain management is the most common, has the least amount of risk, as the patient remains fully conscious, and creates the least expense.

If analgesics are not enough, and visiting the dentist seems like torture, you need some form of sedation to get the dental care your body desperately needs. Remaining “fully conscious” may be the opposite of what you want in the dental chair! Let us assure you: over one million Americans have already experienced and now regularly request the safe and effective treatment procedure called sleep dentistry or oral conscious sedation.

Oral Conscious Sedation is:

  • Non-invasive — you do not need an IV or an artificial breathing machine;
  • Less expensive than general anesthetic, the most costly form of sedation;
  • Requires less recovery — reviving from the oral sedation process is easier than recovering from general sedation.

For oral conscious sedation, you take a pill or a drink shortly before your dental procedure. Most patients feel as if they were asleep during the entire process and remember little, if anything, from their dental chair experience. You breathe on your own and maintain all of your normal reflexes. Our staff carefully monitors your vital signs during this thoroughly tested anxiety treatment. You do need a responsible companion to bring you home after your visit. Patients go about their normal routine with no common side effects by the next day at the latest.

If You Don’t Have a “Designated Driver”

For patients without a responsible chaperone, we also offer a lighter form of sedation that has been used in the dental chair for decades: nitrous oxide, commonly called “laughing gas.” The advantage to nitrous oxide is that it rapidly leaves the body after the dental procedure is complete. A patient may drive themselves home or back to work after a very short recovery period in our office. At the same time, the patient’s fears are easily overcome through the use of this effective and extremely helpful treatment method.

Intravenous Sedation

For the ultimate in sedation and pain management, our dentists are certified to offer IV sedation. For the patient who wants to be totally out during the entire dental process, this method is for you! Obviously, it’s more complicated than the procedures we’ve detailed above, and you definitely need assistance getting back home. Nevertheless, this option is available for patients facing involved and lengthy procedures.

The Placerville Dental Group, your nearby dental office, is concerned about your safety and comfort during the use of all analgesics and sedatives. We want our patients to experience quality dental care without fear or pain. Contact us to arrange your sleep dentistry appointment or call us 530-295-8000 to speak with a knowledgeable staff member about oral sedation dentistry.

Schedule a Sedation Dentistry Appointment