Let’s face it, most people don’t like going to the dentist. I get it.
In fact, the five things people dread the most are the following (in no particular order):
- Public Speaking
- Appearing in Court
- Doing business at the State Motor Vehicle Division
- Standing in line at the Post Office
- Going to the Dentist
I don’t take offense to this. I realize that we all have our “kryptonite” and having dental work done can make even the toughest guys a little weak in the knees. This is why I often see patients that have procrastinated their dental care for years until it simply can’t wait any longer.
At Pony Express Dental in Utah, we offer a couple of options for those that simply dread the dentist. The first suggestion is the use of nitrous oxide, aka “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide produces a sensation (buzz) that can help you to better tolerate dental treatment. It wears off quickly and is very safe. For most patients, this is enough to help them tolerate their dental procedures. Laughing gas is ideal for kids and adults alike and is relatively inexpensive.
For those that want a more profound experience where you have amnesia and won’t remember your treatment, IV (intravenous) Sedation, is the ticket. (And I strongly recommend it!)
IV Sedation Dentistry in Utah has a proven track record and level of safety when done correctly by a certified dental professional with the proper training and experience. Not all dentists have the training and certification to perform IV Sedation as it’s not commonly taught in dental school. Most dentists that perform IV sedation have completed a dental residency or a rigorous, advanced training course after dental school. Learn about the improvements in sedation dentistry.
Here’s how it works:
- The patient has a pre-anesthetic consultation to ensure that they are a good sedation candidate. Patients must be healthy and informed about sedation and the procedure (wisdom teeth extractions or dental crowns) they are having. This is the proper time to ask questions and have them answered. We call this informed consent.
- When the patient presents for their dental procedure, an IV is placed in a vein in the arm. Medications are given that help to sedate the patient, help with pain management, and decrease swelling. The three medications I use the most are Versed, Fentanyl, and Dexamethasone. I only give the minimum amounts of medications needed to achieve the desired effect. Then, and only then, is the dental procedure completed.
- During IV sedation, patients are monitored with a machine that takes vital signs continuously. This includes monitoring the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation in their red blood cells. It is painless to do, but extremely important so the patient is kept safe during sedation.
- Afterwards, we monitor the patient for 15-20 minutes before they are discharged to their escort and permitted to return home.
- We wheel the patient out to the escort’s car in a wheelchair and they are safely seat belted into the car for a secure ride home.
I have been a dentist in Utah since 2001, and I have successfully performed countless nitrous oxide cases and over 8,000 IV Sedation procedures in Utah. It has been a privilege to do so as I know that an estimated 75% of dental patients experience fear when visiting the dentist. I take sedation dentistry very seriously and make sure my patients are good candidates for treatment, are properly monitored and given the right dosage of IV Sedation medications.
If you are someone that is super anxious about dental care, ask your Pony Express Dentist or hygienist about nitrous oxide or IV Sedation Dentistry. You no longer have to dread going to the dentist. We are here to help! Contact us at one of our three locations Draper UT, Daybreak UT, or Eagle Mountain UT.
Dr. Michael Tornow, DMD
Certified in IV Sedation since 2002.
U.S. Air Force trained