Sedation Options

Approximately 15% of American adults put off dental treatment because they suffer from dental fear or anxiety. For some people, it’s the noise of the dental drill; for others, it stems from a negative experience from childhood.  It is also a fear that can be brought on by simply listening to a friend, parent or family member who has dental anxiety and subconsciously taking on the fear yourself.

Some individuals simply can’t sit in the dental chair for the amount of time needed for various more complex procedures due to a physical or mental disability, or other conditions like a very small mouth, a resistance to local anesthetics or a severe gag reflex. Regardless of the origin or reason for your fear, it is unhealthy to delay (or worse, completely avoid) the dental treatment, given the progressive nature of most dental problems.

Whatever the cause of your personal challenge, South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry offers a variety of sedation options to alleviate your anxiety and/or make your treatment more comfortable. With sedation, you can obtain the periodontal/dental implant care you need, in a safe and supportive environment. We can also arrange to have restorative/ general dental treatment completed with sedation as well with certain dentists. You deserve a positive experience and we make every effort to ensure that you have one.

Man having a visit at the dentist's. Handsome patient sitting on chair at dentist office in dental clinic.

Nitrous Oxide

This safe mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide is also referred to as “laughing gas.” Although you are awake, the use of nitrous oxide creates a sense of detachment and calm. One of our mildest forms of sedation, this odorless gas is inhaled via a small mask placed over your nose. When the procedure is over, the nitroxide oxide is removed and you immediately return to a normal state. You will be awake, fully able to hear and speak and aware of the situation, but totally calm. You also can control the amount of sedation you experience by simply breathing through your mouth, which dilutes the effect of the nitrous oxide in your nose. The effects wear off soon after the comfortable mask is removed. Additionally, there are no known allergic responses to nitrous oxide, making it a reliable and ideal way to achieve relaxation.

Oral (Conscious) Sedation

A stronger level of sedation, oral (conscious) sedation provides an even deeper level of relaxation. We will prescribe a medication (pill) that you take just before the appointment, but you must have someone driving you to and from our office. The medication provides a sense of relaxation. You are awake, but often won’t remember the sights and sounds of your visit. Advantages of this form of sedation include the ease of administration and a lower cost as compared to IV sedation.

IV (Intravenous) Sedation

With IV sedation you may be awake, but you’ll be so relaxed that you won’t notice the time passing, making you think you were asleep. You’ll receive medication through a vein in your wrist or arm, which allows the sedatives to work almost immediately. This level of sedation is ideal for patients who are so anxious they might not otherwise be even able to schedule an appointment, let alone come to our office.

Doctors Frederic Norkin and Liliana Aranguren are certified to administer IV sedation and ensure complete safety by monitoring patients throughout their treatment. For more complex cases (i.e., when there are medical complications present), IV sedation is administered by our Board-Certified Dental Anesthesiologist, Dr. Eitan Gross, a Diplomate of the American Dental Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Gross is present throughout the treatment process, continually monitoring your blood pressure and heart rate.

General Anesthesia 

This method completely eliminates consciousness using anesthetic delivered by an anesthesiologist in a hospital or hospital outpatient setting. While rarely used for dental procedures, it is an option if needed for special circumstances such as patients with complex medical conditions, extreme anxiety or intellectual challenges that cannot be safely managed in an office setting. Dr. Ganeles has privileges to treat patients under these conditions at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and West Boca Medical Center.

We want your experience with us to be as comfortable as possible. Talk to your periodontist about the various sedation levels at South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry to see if one of these safe and effective sedation methods might be right for you.