Sedation Dentistry

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  • Sedation Options
  • Eligibility Factors
  • Sedation FAQ’s
  • And More!

Conscious Sedation Dentistry In Boulder

conscious sedation dentistry Lafayette, CO and Boulder

Do you feel anxious when you think about visiting the dentist? If so, our sedation dentistry services in Boulder county can help you relax during treatment. Dental sedation provides a safe, comfortable experience while you get the care that you need.

Our team customizes the dental sedatives for your specific situation, so you can feel comfortable while we revitalize your smile. Even patients with the most intense “dental phobia” can relax and even enjoy their visits with the aid of sedation dentistry.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

Sedation dentistry might be a good choice for you if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Generalized dental anxiety.
  • Dental phobia or a strong anxiety about dental visits that discourage you from scheduling dentist appointments.
  • Fear of dental procedures due to a negative dental experience you had in the past.
  • A strong or overactive gag reflex.
  • Back pain or neck problems that can make sitting in a dentist chair uncomfortable or painful.
  • A fear of needles.
  • Anxiety, depression, PTSD, or any other related condition.
  • The sound of the drill sets you on edge or the smell of a dentist’s office makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • If you need extensive dental work done that requires a couple of hours or more in the dentist chair.

Any one of these conditions can make you reluctant to schedule an appointment, but we can help you overcome them so you can get proper dental care!

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

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You may want to consider sedation dentistry if you experience one or more of the following:

  • Anxiety about dental treatment. You may not remember much about the procedure, and dental sedation can help you feel relaxed and comfortable while we work on improving your oral health and your smile.
  • Acute or chronic jaw soreness. Our sedation medication is designed to relax your muscles, allowing your jaw to remain comfortable for several hours, if necessary.
  • A gag reflex. Dental sedation relaxes your gag reflexes, which can get in the way of proper treatment.
  • Physical limitations such as back or neck problems. With dental sedation, the muscles in your back and neck are at ease, and you can sit comfortably in the chair, even for longer procedures.

Dental sedatives be the only way you can attend a dental appointment. If this is the case, then talk to us about the reasons you need dental sedation.

"I hate going the dentist and have a pretty bad phobia about going but Dr. West was great. I had 2 root canals and a crown. Everyone was very friendly and Dr. West put me at ease completely. I did the sedation dentistry and after the procedure, I didn't even recall what happened. No pain and no worries during the procedures. The best experience I've had. Can't imagine going anywhere else."

Keith H.

How Safe is Dental Sedation?

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Members of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) have completed an estimated 1,000,000 successful dental sedation procedures over the past six years without serious incident.*

We constantly monitor your blood pressure during treatment to ensure you are healthy and well, and we also keep an eye on your pulse and blood oxygen level.

*NO adult fatalities have been reported by DOCS.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Many of our patients enjoy the following benefits of sedation dentistry:

  • Feeling at ease during appointments, allowing our staff to repair smiles without making anyone feel nervous.
  • Customized plans that provide security and confidence during treatment.
  • Beautiful, healthy smiles!

If you experience some limitation that keeps you from getting the care you need, please tell us. We want to give you the benefits of both sedation dentistry and excellent dental care to keep you smiling!

Conscious Sedation Options In Boulder

Sedation Dentistry Options Lafayette CO - Boulder County SmilesAlthough sedation dentistry is often called sleep dentistry, the word “sleep” isn’t completely accurate. You’re not put to sleep with oral conscious sedation the way you are with general anesthesia. You might fall asleep during the procedure because your body will be relaxed, but you won’t be unconscious.

We have several sedation methods available, including laughing gas, oral sedation medications, and other commonly used sedatives. Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO provides three levels of anxiety-reduction for patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia. The three levels are as follows:

  • General Stress and Anxiety Reduction | Our treatment for mild to moderate anxiety includes acupressure, music, and building a relaxing environment around the patient during short dental procedures.
  • Oral Sedation | If you have severe anxiety or a dental phobia, this treatment uses Valium (diazepam) or Halcion (triazolam) to help your body move into a deeply relaxed state, known as conscious sedation. Our medications are safe, and you can feel completely comfortable, even if you need several hours of treatment time.
  • General Anesthesia | General anesthesia is usually done in a hospital, but it can also be a good option for patients with special needs or for our patients with extremely severe dental phobias.

Boulder sedation dentist Dr. Gordon West administers oral sedation medication with compassion and care. Our conscious sedation can have you feeling relaxed and comfortable throughout your visit at our Lafayette CO dentist office.

If you choose to have conscious dental sedation during your visit, Dr. West can give you some sedative options, either in a pill form or by inhalation. We don’t use needles to administer sedatives, so don’t let your fear of needles keep you from coming in to our office!

Sedation Dentistry FAQ’s

At Boulder County Smiles, we want you to feel comfortable with the idea of dental sedation. Here are some common questions we hear from our patients:

Is Dental Sedation Safe?
Yes, dental sedation is safe when administered by a trained sedation dentist like Dr. West. We can give you a muscle relaxant pill that helps your body relax, but you won’t be under anesthesia. Light conscious sedation medication does not have the same risks of general anesthesia.

Our trained staff carefully monitors you throughout the procedure, and we never leave you alone. We do want you to be aware that the medication can become habit-forming if taken regularly for several weeks, but you only need to take the pill during an appointment!

Dr. West administers medication carefully and as recommended in the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) protocols.

What kind of medicine is used in dental sedation?
Our oral conscious sedation medications are Benzodiazepine drugs such as Triazolam or Diazepam (also known as Valium). Both of these medications are muscle relaxants that often cause a mild amnesia, so you won’t remember much about the dental procedure. Lorazepam is also used for patients with acute dental phobia because it produces a strong amnesia effect.
Will I sleep through the dental procedure?
Maybe. Some people are so relaxed that they can’t help falling asleep, and others stay awake but remain in a heavily relaxed state. Under light conscious sedation, we can still communicate with you if needed, unlike under general anesthesia.
Can I drive myself home from the appointment after I've had dental sedation?
Although the effects of oral dental sedation are mostly worn off by the end of your visit, you still shouldn’t drive. You should arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home because the sedatives can interfere with your ability to drive safely.
If I am pregnant, can I still have dental sedation?
No, Diazepam is not recommended when you are pregnant because the drug has been associated with increased risk of cleft palate and respiratory problems in infants, particularly in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. If you are pregnant and worried about having a dental visit without sedatives, talk to Dr. West about your options.

As a sleep dentist, he works with our team in Lafayette CO to do everything possible to make you comfortable and relaxed. We also use music therapy and acupressure to help calm and relax our patients, which may be very helpful during pregnancy.

What are the side effects of dental sedation?
Oral sedation can make you feel drowsy, a good reason not to drive, and may give you dry mouth as well. Some of the effects of Benzodiazepines may take several hours to wear off, so we encourage most patients not to return to work following dental sedation.
What are Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia?
Did you know that one in four Americans has dental anxiety or dental phobia? People who experience fear in connection with visiting the dentist may have dental phobia or dental anxiety. You may know a lot of people with this condition, whether it’s your child, your spouse, or a parent.

In general, dental anxiety is a fear of visiting the dentist. This fear can stem from anticipation of pain, past experiences, or the sights and sounds that are present at a dental office. Dental phobia is an extreme version of dental anxiety.

Some patients with dental phobias often suffer in silence, upset and stressed because of a fear that a trip to the dentist’s office will be extremely painful or otherwise upsetting. Patients with dental phobias often neglect proper dental care, which negatively impacts their health.

If any of these descriptions sound like you, come see Boulder sleep dentist Dr. Gordon West. At Boulder County Smiles, we know how to help you have a comfortable, pleasant dental experience.

How can I get help for my dental phobia?
Our sedation dentist practice in Lafayette CO is trained to help anxious patients relax during their visit and get the healthy smiles they need. Call today to set up your appointment with dental sedation.
Who might benefit from dental sedation?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, sedation dentistry may be right for you:

  • You have dental anxiety that holds you back from seeing a dentist.
  • You have difficulty sleeping the night before going to a dental appointment.
  • You don’t like needles.
  • You don’t like the smells or sounds at the dentist, especially drills.
  • You put off going to the dentist because of how worried and stressed out you feel.
  • You develop tension headaches, neck aches, and other muscle soreness while at the dentist.
  • You start to feel physically sick in the waiting room or in the dentist chair.
  • You develop a migraine headache or experience other signs of illness at the dentist.
  • Thinking about going to the dentist literally makes you want to cry.
  • You sometimes have nightmares about going to the dentist.
  • During a dental visit, you feel more stressed and anxious than you would in a different situation.
  • You have difficulty breathing while at the dentist or you hyperventilate.
  • During dental visits, you panic when instruments go into your mouth.
  • During dental visits, you suddenly find it hard to breathe.
  • Dental visits may trigger anxiety attacks if you are already susceptible to attacks.
  • Memories of unpleasant dental experiences trigger symptoms similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Call Our Lafayette Sedation Dentist’s Office Today!

Call our Lafayette, Colorado sedation dentistry office at 303-665-5335 for more information about how sedation dentistry can help you. Dr. Gordon West can provide sedation dentistry for most procedures and to patients who come to see him from across the Boulder County area, including Lafayette, Boulder, and Broomfield, CO.