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Dental Sedation


Many patients have had traumatic experiences in dentistry or have other anxieties about their treatment. At Northwest Implants and Sleep Dentistry, Dr. Mark Paxton strives to meet your individual comfort needs. For our patients with anxiety, sedation dentistry may be the answer. We offer both nitrous oxide and oral (conscious) sedation as options for our patients.

General Anesthesia Sedation

Some procedures that involve surgery require the patient to be placed under general anesthesia. For some, a trip to the dentist can be a large undertaking filled with anxiety. We understand that not everyone has had great experiences at the dentist and to those individuals we offer general anesthesia. Whatever the reason, general anesthesia is an extremely useful tool to have at our disposal.

How it Works
General anesthesia refers to any form of sedation where a patient is kept in a state of controlled unconsciousness. When put into such a state the brain doesn’t respond to any pain signals that are sent to it. Further, because the patient is unconscious, they do not feel pain. General anesthesia is usually administered through an intravenous (IV) system.

Is it safe?
At Northwest Implants and Sleep Dentistry, we only use sedation forms and techniques that have been approved by the American Dental Association. We have a great deal of expertise in the area of general anesthesia and want your experience with us to be as pleasant as possible.

Receiving General Anesthesia
Before we begin your procedure we will need to gather some information from you on your medical history along with a list of any medications you might be taking. This is a safety precaution that we take very seriously. Administration of the anesthetic comes next, through an IV system. Once the anesthetic is administered it won’t take long at all before you are in a deep sleep.

In this sleep you won’t be able to feel anything and you will be totally unconscious. Upon waking you may be disoriented or slightly nauseous but we will be there to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Because the effects of general anesthesia can take a few hours to wear off, it is wise to bring someone to your appointment who can bring you home and make sure you are comfortable. We require all GA patients to have an escort present at the time of surgery and to drive them home.

IV Sedation

Intravenous conscious sedation (AKA IV Sedation) is a very popular method of sedation that we at Northwest Implants and Sleep Dentistry offer our patients. IV sedation is extremely popular among patients who have a strong dislike of dental work, because it allows them to avoid anxiety and feel completely at ease while having work done.

What does it do?
IV sedation puts you in a relaxed state of mind but does not put you to sleep. You will remain awake and be able to respond to any requests the doctor may have while you are sedated. Patients often experience partial or total amnesia for the full period of sedation. That is to say, you will not remember most of (or sometimes all of) the procedure. Meanwhile the drugs we use will give you a very pleasant feeling of euphoria.

You will be aware of what is happening while it is happening. You will feel at ease with what is happening. You will be able to respond to our requests during the procedure—all this and you won’t remember a thing!

How does it work?
We do not use narcotics in our IV sedation. Instead we use drugs from the benzodiazepine family. Benzodiazepines work by suppressing anxiety inducing effects in the brain. They do nothing to prevent pain which is why we will always use a local anesthetic during any procedure which might be uncomfortable.

Is it safe?
We at Northwest Implants and Sleep Dentistry only use sedation techniques that have been approved by the American Dental Association. To ensure your safety we will go over your medical history and request a list of medications that you are taking.

The application of the IV is the easiest part, just a small prick around the wrist and in no time the effects of the drug will kick in. You will feel calm and before you know it the procedure will be over. You may remember snippets of the procedure but probably not much. We require all IV Sedation patients to have an escort present at the time of surgery and to drive them home.

Oral (Conscious) Sedation

Oral sedation dentistry allows Dr. Mark Paxton to create a safe and comfortable dental experience for patients who avoid the dentist out of fear.

With sedation, your dentist can work more effectively by helping you become as comfortable as possible using well established and proven methods. There are a variety of sedation medications that are taken orally or "sublingually" (under the tongue). All sedation medicines are administered at our offices, under the care of an assistant.

This type of dental care does require that you have a driver to bring you home from your appointment, as it takes several hours for the medication to completely wear off. For more information about oral sedation at Northwest Implants and Sleep Dentistry, please contact our office today!

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that will help you relax. It is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose.

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called "laughing gas," is one option we may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions we may have. Dr. Mark Paxton will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed. Talk to us about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you at your next appointment.

For more information, visit www.mouthhealthy.org


Mark C. Paxton, DDS
9911 N Nevada Ste 120
Spokane, WA 99218


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