If you assume that one dentist is pretty much like the other then you could be missing out on the type of dental care that you really need. Dentist can get additional training in a variety of areas in order to better serve their patients. IV sedation anesthesia is an area of dentistry that requires training above and beyond the general dental training. In order to find a dentist who offers IV sedation, you need to look for someone who has the experience, training, and proper set-up to provide it.
Being able to effectively work with fearful patients is a skill that requires experience. Patients are fearful of the dentist for a variety of reasons. They may be anxious because of a negative experience in the past. The potential for pain is a big motivator for avoiding the dentist. Some people have anxiety in many areas of life and the dentist is on the list. For others, the fear of going to the dentist is related to embarrassment over the condition of their teeth. A dentist that focuses on working with fearful patients will have the opportunity to work with the types of patients mentioned above along with many others. This experience comes with time and intentionally reaching out to patients with dental anxiety. Dentist who offer IV sedation anesthesia often do so because of their experience working with fearful patients.
Dentists who offer IV sedation anesthesia are required to undergo additional training and certification beyond dental school. A dentist who is IV certified and licensed to administer IV sedation has been legally certified by the state’s Board of Dental Examiners to deliver medical drugs that alter a patient’s consciousness for a comfortable, pain-free treatment. This means that any dentist who offers IV sedation anesthesia has taken intentional steps to be able to provide the service.
In order to offer IV sedation anesthesia a dentist needs to have the proper in-office set-up. This means that there must be an anesthesiologist available to administer the sedation as well as the right type of equipment. The anesthesiologist will monitor your level of sedation throughout the procedures and make adjustments if necessary. All of these elements combined require an office set-up that will make it possible for everyone involved to effectively do their work.
There are only a select few dentists that offer IV sedation anesthesia to patients. The extra effort required to provide it and the complexity of equipping the office can deter dentists from doing what it takes to make IV sedation available. Finding a dentist with the experience, training, and in-office set-up to provide IV sedation anesthesia can be a lifeline if you have dental anxiety. In Gettysburg, PA Samuels Dental Arts proudly offers IV sedation anesthesia to patients with all levels of fear and anxiety.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.