Skip to main content

Sedation dentistry  Beaufort SC

Chris Mohler DDS, LLC

Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting the dentist? You may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Mohler is certified to administer (oral conscious) sedation, commonly referred to as “Sleep Dentistry.”

Dr. Mohler is also proud to announce that he has partnered with an anesthesia group to provide deeper sedation. The group will provide an MD that is a board certified specialist to provide total IV anesthesia (TIVA) so that the patient may comfortably sleep through the procedure. 

Sedation Dentistry

Advantages to patients include:

  • Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
  • You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
  • Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur at during the same visit.
  • Less discomfort after treatment.

Anti-Anxiety Pills

The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.

There are two different types of Benzodiazepines:

  • Sedative-Hypnotics: These drugs induce calm, including drowsiness and even sleep. This sleep state is actually a form of hypnosis which is a form of physiological sleep.
  • Anti-Anxiety Drugs: These are drugs which relieve anxiety and induce a state of calm and relaxation.

While benzodiazepines act as sedatives AND anti-anxiety drugs, some are highly targeted at areas within the brain which focus on sleep. Others act in a more specific way and target fear centers in the brain.   In most cases, higher doses act as sedatives and induce sleep, while in lower doses, they reduce anxiety without sedation.

Benzodiazepines are also Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants (i.e. there can be a decline in blood pressure and breathing). It is important to note that they shouldn’t be mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. Its important that you utilize the dose your dentist or doctor recommends. It is possible to overdose, and overdoses could lower your breathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or death.

Please note that you will be required to arrange for an escort to bring you to and from the office after you’ve taken any of these drugs. 

When not to take benzodiazepines:

Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’s important to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist.  You should be sure to inform Dr. Mohler if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking other medications. There could be possible drug interactions.

Nitrous Oxide 

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax.

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is another option Dr. Mohler may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions Dr. Mohler may have. We will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is the gold standard for dental anesthesia.  Our anesthesiologist will assess your medical history and level of your anxiety. He will then place a small needle in your arm just above the elbow. This will allow him to administer an appropriate amount of medication to induce a “twilight sleep”. You will be able to hear, speak, respond to commands and most importantly your airway remains intact. It is very safe.

The drugs used are typically Versed and Fentanyl, or Propofol. You will be fully monitored at all times while Dr. Mohler takes care of your dental needs.

The procedure is also known as TIVA  for “total IV anesthesia”.

Talk with Dr. Mohler about what type of anesthesia would satisfy your needs; Nitrous Oxide, Oral Sedative, or TIVA.