Posts for tag: sedation dentistry


Making sure children are comfortable when visiting the dentist is an essential part of creating a lifetime habit of dental care. We recommend children start dental visits around their first birthday.

But for some children this may not be enough — despite parents’ and dentists’ best efforts they may still develop an inordinate fear of dental visits and even routine procedures. This kind of anxiety could inhibit them now and later in life from receiving needed dental care.

To relieve this anxiety, dentists have developed sedation therapy for children. Not to be confused with anesthesia, which numbs pain, sedation uses drugs to place a patient in a relaxed state. Depending on the drugs and dosage used, we’re able to achieve anywhere from a light state of relaxation to a deep suppression of consciousness. The approach is similar to one used with adults, although drug dosages and applications will differ with children.

 If we’re planning to use sedation with your child we recommend you feed them a low-fat dinner the night before and then refrain from any other foods or liquids until after treatment the next day. Just before the procedure (and after we’ve evaluated them physically to be sure they’re healthy enough for the sedation medication), we’ll administer the sedative, usually Midazolam and Hydroxyzine. Taken by mouth in a syrup form, this places them in a mildly relaxed state.

During the procedure a designated staff member will continually monitor their pulse, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs. We may also take other protective measures like special chair positioning or immobilization to keep movement to a minimum.

After the procedure, your child will remain in the office until their vital signs return to pre-sedation levels. Once at home, you should keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. They should not return to school or regular activities until the next day.

As sedation medication and techniques continue to advance, they’re becoming a routine part of dental care. If your child experiences anxiety, this can help make dental visits more pleasant and more likely to become part of their life from now on.

If you would like more information on taking the anxiety out of children’s dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”

By Embree Dentistry
April 27, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sedation dentistry  

If you or a loved one is crippled with anxiety over the thought of going to the dentist, or even mildly apprehensive enough to put off making an appointment for a necessary procedure or even a routine check-up and cleaning, you are not alone. In fact, anywhere Sedation Dentistrybetween 30 to 40 million Americans are said to suffer from some level of fear of going to the dentist. And while the levels of pain associated with many common dental procedures like root canals are highly exaggerated, this knowledge offers little to no consolation to patients who view a potential trip to the dentist with fear, loathing, and dread.

Making matters worse, dentists have suffered something of an unfair reputation in popular culture as gleeful purveyors of pain. Thankfully, dentistry has evolved, and nervous patients no longer have to let anxiety and fear get in the way of their oral health and cosmetic dental needs.

Sedation Dentistry in Ann Arbor, MI

To help nervous patients meet their oral healthcare needs, Ann Arbor, MI-based Embree Dentistry offers several options for sedation:

  • Topical anesthesia
  • Minimal sedation with oral medications or nitrous oxide
  • Moderate sedation with oral medication (patient remains conscious and breathing without assistance)

Contact a Dentist in Ann Arbor, MI

Have you or a member of your family put off getting a necessary dental procedure for fear of being in pain before or after the procedure? Or maybe your tolerance for pain is healthy, but it's the fear of needles or pointy dental instruments that gives you a case of night terrors. The dentists at Embree Dentistry understand and respect your fears. For more information on how sedation dentistry works, and which form is right for you, call (734) 973-0000 to schedule an appointment today.

By Embree Dentistry
August 15, 2014
Category: Oral Health

The next time you’re visiting Boston, why not make time for a stroll in the city’s renowned public garden? It’s got a little something for everyone: acres of greenhouses and formal plantings, a picturesque pond where you can go for a paddle in swan-shaped boats, and the first (and perhaps the only) statue dedicated to an anesthetic gas.

Yes, the Ether Monument (also called “The Good Samaritan”) is a vaguely Moorish-looking sculpture that commemorates the first use of anesthetic in a medical procedure. This ground-breaking event took place at nearby Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846. But if it seems that perhaps the park designers were feeling a bit light-headed when they commissioned this statue* then just think of what it would have been like to have a tooth drilled without it!

Today, of course, ether is no longer used for anesthesia; that’s because medical science has developed far better ways to make sure you don’t feel pain when you’re having a procedure. However, we do still use a gas for people who need a little more help relaxing during dental treatment. It’s called nitrous oxide, but sometimes goes by the nickname “laughing gas.”

This sweet-smelling gas, mixed with oxygen, is often administered in a process called inhalation conscious sedation. It doesn’t put you to sleep — you can still follow directions and respond to verbal cues — but it makes you very comfortable, and may even induce a slightly euphoric feeling, which wears off quickly when the gas is stopped. That’s what makes it ideal for some dental procedures: It’s quite effective for people who might otherwise have a great deal of dental anxiety, yet it’s quick, easy and safe to administer — and you can usually drive yourself home afterward.

Sometimes, however, you may need even more relaxation — for example, if you’re having multiple wisdom teeth extracted. In this case, it may be best to use intravenous (IV) conscious sedation. Here, the precise amount of medication you need is delivered directly into your bloodstream via a tiny needle. As with nitrous oxide, you’ll remain conscious the whole time, but you won’t feel any pain — and afterward, you probably won’t remember a thing.

Sedation dentistry has come a long way since the days of ether… but making sure you don’t feel pain or anxiety remains a critical part of what we do. Before a procedure, we’ll talk to you about what type of anesthesia is best — and if you have any questions or concerns, we’ll work with you to make sure you have the best experience possible. If you would like more information about sedation dentistry or relieving dental anxiety, call our office for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Oral Sedation Dentistry” and “Sedation Dentistry For Kids.”

Lessen Dental Anxiety with Oral Sedation—It’s Safe and it Works

If you’d rather suffer through an agonizing toothache than visit the dentist for treatment then you’re not alone. Many people are so afraid of the dentist that they avoid treatment at all. Of course skipping necessary dental care is not the answer as you are only putting your health at risk for more serious complications and more extensive dental work down the road. So how can you conquer your fears, overcome your dental anxiety and receive the professional treatment you need to maintain healthy teeth and gums? Sedation Dentistry Techniques
For patients who routinely avoid the dentist in Ann Arbor, sedation dentistry may be the answer for combating your dental fears.  Oral sedation can be administered to lessen fears and calm nerves in Ann Arbor while our dentist safely treats your dental needs. Oral sedation is also referred to as oral anxiolysis sedation because the patient remains conscious throughout the treatment, is administered by mouth to provide a relaxing and stress-free experience for nervous patients.

Why do People Have Anxiety About Dental Visits?

People are often anxious about going to the dentist for an array of different reasons, including worrying about the effectiveness of localized anesthetic and feeling that the dentist is rushed.  Other factors might include the anticipation of pain, negative past experiences, and even the sterile smell of a dental office.  The interruption of a person’s normal daily routine to visit the dentist can also trigger anxiety in patients.  If not addressed, dental anxiety can lead to unnecessary oral health problems, which can lead to much more time spent in the dental chair for treatment.

How is oral sedation administered?

An oral sedative is given to patients by mouth or under the tongue, and sedation can range from minimal to moderate depending on the total amount of dosage given.  Patients will remain awake throughout the treatment, but will feel more relaxed and at ease. This helps the patient receive the important care they need while allowing the dentist to efficiently and effectively administer the treatment.

What will I experience after taking an oral sedative?

In most cases, patients in Ann Arbor report feeling more relaxed and calm after taking an oral sedative.  Sedation will vary for each individual and will also range from mild to moderate depending on the amount of sedatives the patient receives. Mild or moderate sedation typically implies that the patient remains alert and responsive throughout treatment.

What are the Benefits of Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation is a safe and effective way to make dental care more tolerable for those who are afraid. When a patient is relaxed and still conscious, our Ann Arbor sedation dentist will be able to administer treatment more efficiently. In many cases, sedation dentists can even perform multiple procedures in a single visit, saving the patient and the dentist time.
If you routinely postpone or cancel dental appointments because you are afraid of treatment then talk to our sedation dentist in Ann Arbor about oral sedation. Oral sedation may be a great option for helping you reach a calm, anxiety-free state in the dentist chair so that one of our dentists can take care of your teeth and help you achieve your optimal oral health.

Studies have shown that as many as 75 out of every 100 people fear dental visits; and for 10 to 15 of them, the fear is so great that they never get treatment — leading to serious dental problems and worse. Untreated disease in your teeth and gums can negatively affect the health of your entire body.

How can you conquer your fears so you can get the treatment you need? The answer includes (a) working with us to overcome your fears and have a positive experience while undergoing dental treatment, and (b) using oral sedation or anti-anxiety medication to help you quell your fears and relax.

Overcoming Your Fears

People develop fear of the dentist when they have a bad dental experience themselves, or sometimes when they hear of a bad experience someone else has had. The more you are afraid, the more you feel the symptoms of fear, and the more you connect those symptoms with the experience. You need to stop this negative memory sequence and replace the feelings of fear and loss of control with memories of good experiences and feelings of being in control.

It helps to know that you are not alone in your fears and that you can do something positive about them. First, make an appointment to discuss your fears with us, your dental professionals. Start with small procedures that cause only mild anxiety, and give yourself adequate time to get over your fears.

Using Oral Sedation

You have already gradually reduced your fear through your discussions and previous appointments. When you are ready to go to the next step, consider using oral sedatives or “anxiolytics” (meaning that they dissolve anxiety) to help you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Oral sedation — so called because you take it by mouth — allows you to let your guard down and focus on feeling peaceful, yet you remain awake and in control. The medication is either placed under your tongue and dissolved there (sublingual) or swallowed whole. Since it is taken by mouth, it does not require an injection, so it is easily taken by people who are afraid of injections.

The oral sedative and anxiolytic medications dentists use have been subjected to rigorous research and testing and have a long safety record after decades of use.

By using this two-step process you can reduce your fears and begin to get the care you need. And we, your dental professionals, are able to work more efficiently because we can focus on the work at hand, knowing that you are comfortable and relaxed.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to talk about any fears you may have. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Overcoming Dental Fear & Anxiety” and “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”

Ann Arbor, MI Dentist
Embree Dentistry
2340 E Stadium Blvd Suite 7
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

(734) 973-0000



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