It’s a fact that many people get a little nervous about their turn in the dental chair. Dental care is an essential part of overall health with poor dental health linked to heart disease and diabetes, but dental jitters can do anything from causing someone to delay a cleaning to completely putting off essential procedures. However, there are options to deal with those jitters, especially when they’re severe, including a relatively new facet of the industry — sedation dentistry.
Dental Care of Sumner is a local frontrunner in providing sedation dentistry, but it also seeks to create a calming environment — starting with their stellar and caring front desk staff — from the moment patients step through the front door.
Sedation dentistry is exactly what it sounds like — a moderate sedation provided by a doctor to relax a patient or put them to sleep. Not all patients will need or even want a treatment under sedation, but for others it can be a necessity. At Dental Care of Sumner, Dr. Scott Crane assesses a patient’s need and desire for sedation and administers the appropriate level and type of medication, ranging from a pill to IV sedation.
“We use IV sedation for almost everything, dependent upon a patient,” Dr. Crane said. “Of course, we use it for oral surgery — extractions, implant placements and sinus augmentations — but there are cases where it is used for my patients that have such a severe level of anxiety toward dental treatment that they need it for all their dental needs.”
Dental Care of Sumner is unique in that it’s the only dental office in the Puyallup, Sumner and Bonney Lake area that offers IV sedation for any treatment, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone nervous about going to the dentist.
While sedation is elective, receiving it still involves an evaluation by Dr. Crane.
“In order to find out if you’re a good candidate for IV sedation, it’s a matter of revealing your medical history, your previous dental experiences, assessing your willingness to forego treatment, and ensuring you’ve been educated about what it being done, why and how,” said Traci Roland, a staff member at the office. “With the combination of all of that, Dr. Crane decides if you’re a good candidate.”
Dental sedation is not quite like full general anesthesia and can be referred to as sleep dentistry or sedation dentistry. The sedation level is considered moderate, which means recovery is quicker than with general anesthesia. Patients may pop right awake after their appointment, but will more likely be tired for the rest of the day. By the following day, the effect should be fully gone. Anyone receiving sedation must have a driver to take them to and from the appointment as they will not be allowed to drive afterward.
While sedation is sometimes simply a necessary facet of procedures, other times it can be a quite literally life-changing experience. While the front desk staff has seen everything from people silly and happy to swearing up a storm after sedation, their most memorable patient was a man so afraid of the dentist that he could barely walk into the office.
“He ended up scheduling IV sedation and Dr. Crane was able to do most of the treatment, but he ran out of time to do everything,” Roland explained. “When the patient came back, he did an about-face. He was so comfortable with Dr. Crane and the staff here that he was able to try his next appointment with just the nitrous. On his last visit, he was able to use nothing. So part of IV sedation is also helping patients to overcome their fears and move past needing it all. It really can help to build trust with the patient.”
There are some people who are simply not great candidates for sedation dentistry. These include pregnant women, people with certain health issues, or children younger than 16.
Dental Care of Sumner is located at 1006 Fryar Ave, Suite B, Sumner. For more information, you can call the office at 253-248-7935 or visit Dental Care of Sumner’s website.