Posts for tag: lavergne sedation dentist

Question: Can sedation help if I have a really big gag reflex?


Answer: Yes, sedation can minimize and often times completely eliminate it completely. The gag reflex refers to the response cause when the tissue in the back of the throat is irritated. There are multiple nerve endings located in the back of the throat and the "uvula", the flap of tissue that hands down in the throat and vibrates when a person says "ahhhhh". When foreign objects come in contact with this area such as impression material, filling material, cotton, the gag reflex is stimulated further producing a vomiting response. There is a great deal of variety of the intensity in gag reflex from person to person.


There are multiple treatment modalities to help improve or lessen the gag reflex. Topical anesthetic spray can be used at the back of the throat producing numbness or suppression of the gag reflex within seconds and up to 15-20 minutes. Nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas, can also work on the higher centers of the brain to also help with reducing gagging. If topical spray and laughing gas are not sufficient, oral and/or IV sedation can likely remove all the normal gag reflex reactions. With sedation, the muscles in the mouth and throat are more relaxed decreasing the likelihood of a gag reaction.


With sedation, routine dentistry, impressions, extractions, etc. can be accomplished in a short amount of time while minimizing the gag reflex often encountered in patients.

Question: Is Dental Sedation Safe and Is it for everyone?


Answer: Yes and no. Dental Sedation is very safe and most of the time very predictable in the response you will get. While there are multiple forms of providing sedation such oral, IV, IM, IN, inhalation, some forms are safer than others. The type of sedation to be used is tailored to the patient that desires it as well as fitting the comfort level of the provider.


For example, IV sedation is an excellent treatment for adults that have a great deal of anxiety yet not recommended in treatment for children.


Why is this?


Determining the proper type of sedation is not just evaluating the medical history of the patient, but evaluating previous dental experiences, assessing the compliance or willingness of the patient to forego treatment, and ensuring the patient has been educated about what is being done, why and how.


Back to IV sedation, children are not candidates for IV due to their inability to understand what is going on and they are less likely to be compliant to the situation. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation are better options for the child because of their noninvasive nature.


The majority of patients I encounter in my practice are good candidates for sedation dentistry. The more important question is what kind of sedation do they need and what will help them achieve the experience they desire. The answer to this lies in the evaluation by the dentist. Spend time with your dentist, discussing your fears, past experiences, medical history, family history as well as your goals and expectations. The combination of all of these will establish whether or not you are a candidate for sedation!





Can you explain in more detail the types of sedation and what is right for me?


I would encourage you go to my sedation tab to read further regarding sedation. Bottom line is there are many different options to help make you more relaxed but the recommended choice is based on your past experiences, the work that needs to be done as well as the amount of work to be done, your medical history. More patients fear going to the dentist because of a bad experience or because they simply don't understand.


Having said that, picking a dentist just because "he can sedate you" is not enough. When looking for a dentist, you need to ask yourself several questions:


Does he understand my fears and concerns and did he offer me solutions?

Does he have up to date equipment and properly trained staff?

Did he explain everything in a manner that you understand...that is can you make an educated decision based on what he has advised you on?

Was he gentle? If you had a cleaning, was the hygienist gentle?

Was the front desk gentle and receptive to your needs?


I believe with a friendly staff and a dentist who takes the time to explain your problems as well as what caused them, offer solutions and alternatives along with the pros and cons, is just as important for helping with anxiety and fear.