Sedation dentistry helps make your treatment comfortable, relaxing, and calm. Dental fear often prevents patients from receiving dental care. However, we have successfully treated many patients with sedation dentistry who delayed dentistry for many years due to dental phobia. Dr. Gary Pearl can calmly and comfortably provide outstanding dental care with the assistance of dental sedation. Dr. Pearl can correct years of dental neglect in as few as one or two relaxed visits. Patients in Hamden, New Haven County, and the far reaches of Connecticut have had life changing experiences in our office with the help of dental sedation.
Intravenous Sedation Intravenous (IV) sedation induces a state of deep relaxation and a feeling of not being bothered by what's going on. Intravenous sedation is a comprehensive method in which sedative medication is administered directly into the bloodstream. Patient comfort is achieved in a safe and controlled environment. Many patients are so sleepy and relaxed they do not even remember their dental visit. Dr. Pearl precisely regulates how much medication is given so as to make sure each patient is as comfortable as possible. Therefore, IV Sedation is the recommended method for patients who are highly fearful and want to be as comfortable as possible during treatment. Pearl Dental Care only uses the highest-grade and most advanced intravenous and monitoring equipment available.
Dr. Pearl completed advanced training at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY prior to receiving his State of Connecticut Permit to Administer Dental Conscious Sedation. In addition, Dr. Pearl is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and all of his staff are certified in Basic Life Support. The Department of Public Health holds strict didactic and clinical requirements before granting the Dental Conscious Sedation Permit. Dr. Pearl is one of the few general dentists in CT licensed to perform IV Sedation.
Oral Sedation Oral Sedation involves taking medication by mouth to induce a state of relaxation and tranquility. Medication is taken the night before your appointment and once you arrive at the dental office. Unlike most dentists, Dr. Pearl is licensed to use multiple dose oral sedation. One of the medications most commonly used is the benzodiazepine Halcion (generic name Triazolam). Halcion exhibits amnesic, anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, and muscle relaxant properties. Other dentists may call oral sedation "oral conscious sedation" or "sedation dentistry". Because Halcion is given orally, the level of sedation is not as predictable or controlled as IV sedation. However, many patients find oral sedation to be sufficiently capable of inducing feelings of calmness and sleepiness. Especially when combined with nitrous oxide, oral sedation produces a level of sedation that makes nearly all dental treatments comfortable.
Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that provides a light and comfortable sedation. Patients are able to breathe normally and remain in control without any "hangover" after effects. Since the effects wear off quickly, patients are able to safely drive home after the dental treatment. The level of sedation is controlled by the concentration of nitrous oxide entering the airway through the nasal mask. You may want to ask your dentist for a "5 minute trial" to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding. Nitrous oxide allows for patients to breathe easy, relax, and enjoy their visit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is sleep dentistry?
"Sleep dentistry" is a term commonly and confusingly used by dentists. Some dentists are simply referring to nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation. When we use the term "sleep dentistry" were are referring to conscious sedation that is either oral or IV sedation. It's important to note that even with IV sedation, patients are not actually asleep, but are in a deeply relaxed and sleepy state. Patients may drift in and out of alertness and can respond to verbal commands.
What does IV sedation feel like?
IV sedation feels incredibly relaxing and carefree. Some patients consider the feeling euphoric. The medications used for the sedation produce a wonderful feeling. After the procedure many patients feel as if they had a great nap. After the IV is placed you won't even know you have been given the medicine until you suddenly feel deeply relaxed.
do i still get a needle?
Yes, after your sedation has begun. Sedation dentistry makes your appointment more relaxing and less painful and part of that includes receiving the dental needle after you are sleepy. An IV line must be placed for IV sedation (not for oral sedation) with the most common spot being your arm. Before the IV is placed Dr. Pearl can numb your arm using numbing cream. Patients who are scared of needles have had excellent experiences with sedation dentistry.
will i remember the procedure
The medication we use has amnesic properties which means you won't remember much (or anything at all) about the procedure. When patients "wake up" they often can't believe how quickly the time went by.
who is a candidate for sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry makes the dental appointment more comfortable for nearly everyone. Sedation dentistry is especially comforting for patients with anxiety, fear, a history of traumatic dental experiences, a bad gag reflex, complex dental problems, fear of needles, and dislike of noises in the dental office.
What procedures can be done with sedation dentistry?
Essentially any treatment can be performed with sedation dentistry. To minimize appointments we try to perform multiple procedures at each sedation appointment.
is sedation dentistry safe?
There are risks with any procedure but sedation dentistry is very safe. Dr. Pearl trained in sedation dentistry at Montefiore Medical Center. At your consultation appointment a detailed medical and dental history will be performed to make sure your visit is safe and that you qualify for sedation dentistry. Dr. Pearl monitors your pulse, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, blood pressure, and heart activity constantly during the procedure.
What are the pre-visit instructions?
Do not eat or drink anything six hours before the procedure. Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing with short sleeves. You must bring someone with you who can take you home afterwards.
what are the post-vist instructions
You must have an adult present to accompany you home. Don't drink any alcoholic beverages after your treatment. Do not drive or operate any machinery or power tools for the rest of the day. Take your prescribed medications as instructed. Don't schedule any activities for the rest of the day, just rest.