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Conscious sedation relieves patient’s fears

You’re not really asleep, but not completely awake either. You feel no pain and afterwards, you don’t remember a thing.

Welcome to the world of conscious sedation.

Conscious sedation or “sleep dentistry” allows a trained dentist to use oral medication to help an apprehensive patient.

For those who may have had painful or a traumatic experience in the dental chair, this is the only way to get anxiety free dental care.

Olivia (19) has high dental fear. Her phobias include needles, dental noises and smells. I’m sure we can all relate her anxiety to some extent. In addition to a full cleaning, her treatment plan included wisdom teeth extractions, restoration of generalized tooth decay and the removal of mercury fillings to be replaced with healthy, biocompatible, white fillings.

This is her conscious sedation story.

She arrived slightly sedated and relaxed, with the medication quickly taking effect. She settled into a relaxed sleep, unaware of the surrounding dental environment.

The sedation dentist, hygienist and team (all trained in first aid and CPR) proceeded with her treatment plan. Her heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen level and alertness were monitored throughout the procedure.

Once treatment was completed, Olivia’s father picked her up and took her home to rest. He was pleased to see her waiting peacefully, her phobias forgotten.

And, to her, it felt like the morning-long procedure lasted only a few minutes.The next day, Olivia glowingly reports that she didn’t remember her appointment and she felt empowered. In fact, she wants to try her next cleaning appointment without sedation. She is one of thousands of patients who have discovered the wonder of conscious sedation.

In one sedation appointment a smile can be restored, wisdom teeth extracted, pain can be eliminated and fear can be overcome!

Check out the latest options available to make your dental experience a great one!

Information provided by Dr. Cam Kesteven, DDS, member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation.

Published in the Abbotsford & Mission News, April 22, 2006