Sedation Dentistry: Choose The Snooze

A woman receiving sedation dentistry

Does the word “dentist” give you anxiety?

You’re not alone: Most people experience dental fear, often keeping them from receiving the care they need.

But prevention is always less expensive (and less painful) than treatment.

And it’s not just about your oral health and your smile: Issues that may seem dental initially often indicate other health issues, from heart disease to cancer and diabetes.

But here’s the good news – you don’t have to bite the dental bullet of discomfort and anxiety.

Indeed, you can choose sedation dentistry instead!

And, with it, get the care you need without worrying.

Options for sedation dentistry

That’s right – sedation dentistry is no monolith, so you can choose between these two options:

  • Nitrous oxide: A light laughing gas that will keep you awake during the procedure AND able to communicate – but without feeling a thing. The gas will calm and relax you and might even produce a slight euphoric or floating sensation. Once we’re done with the treatment, these effects wear off within minutes.
  • IV sedation: A deep sedative administered through an IV so that you can sleep through the entire procedure and not even remember it afterward. The specialist monitors you throughout it all to make sure you remain safe and sedated.

The benefits of sedation dentistry

Because it’s not just about taking a nice quick nap at your dentist’s office and waking up to having the work all done. Sedation dentistry benefits also include:

  • It’s pain-free: It doesn’t matter what dental issue you have – you won’t feel a thing anyway!
  • It saves time: Because you’re able to kick back and relax, we’re able to get more work done in one appointment!

Still not sure it’s the right choice for you?

The following Q&A should help clear the air.

Is anesthesia safe?

It is!

Advances in pharmaceuticals, technology, and training for anesthesia professionals have contributed significantly to improvements in patient safety.

According to the Institute of Medicine, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and American Society of Anesthesiologists, anesthesia care is nearly 50 times safer than it was just 30 years ago.

With utmost safety in mind, Mill City Anesthesia meets with each patient in advance of their procedure to complete a thorough examination of the patient’s medical history and discuss all options with patients to answer any questions they may have.

If we do not feel a patient’s complex needs are fit for the office setting, we are sure to identify and refer the patient to a hospital or surgery center where more advanced care may be provided.

Our goal is to continuously provide a safe, comfortable place for our patients to receive dental care in their own dental home.

What will happen on the day of my procedure?

When you arrive for your procedure, a nurse will weigh you and measure your vital signs.

Your CRNA will perform a physical assessment, answer any additional questions you have, and ask you to sign the anesthesia consent form. An intravenous (IV) line will then be placed in your hand or arm (or your chosen method of anesthesia will be used – we’ll detail IV sedation here since it’s the most involved).

For children and patients with special needs, we use developmentally appropriate distraction techniques while giving an intramuscular injection of sedation medication prior to the IV placement.

Once your IV is placed, medications will be given through the IV to induce a restful dream-like state of sleep.

During the procedure, we will give you additional medications to help decrease pain, inflammation, and nausea.

Upon waking from your relaxed dream-like state, you will have no recollection of your dental procedure and little to no discomfort.

Our exceptional CRNA team will be continuously monitoring you from start to finish.

What can I expect after my procedure?

Approximately 30 minutes after waking, you will be safe to go home with a driver to ensure you get home and settle in well.

You will be provided written discharge instructions from your nurse.

You can expect a follow-up phone call later in the day from your CRNA to answer any questions and to make sure that you are recovering well.

Once home, you may still be drowsy and must remain under adult supervision until you’ve fully recovered from the effects of anesthesia.

Restrict activities for the remainder of the day: Do not engage in potentially harmful activities such as driving, bike riding, swimming, using playground equipment, or any activity where balance is important.

Children may be irritable after anesthesia. If this occurs, stay with your child and provide a calm environment. If you believe that the irritability is caused by discomfort, you may give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

What is a CRNA?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are highly-skilled, advanced-practice registered nurses who specialize in the field of anesthesiology and pain management.

CRNAs have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the US for more than 150 years, currently delivering more than 49 million anesthetics to patients each year in all 50 states.

As autonomous healthcare professionals, CRNAs collaborate with the patient and other healthcare professionals to provide patient-centered high-quality, holistic, evidence-based, and cost-effective care.

At Stillwater Family Dentistry, our providers have the experience and knowledge needed to provide exceptional care in the comfort of your home dental practice!

What is the CRNA’s role during my Stillwater Family Dental surgery?

CRNAs are responsible for the safety of patients before, during, and after surgery.

They stay with their patients throughout the entire procedure, administering their anesthesia and monitoring their vital signs to ensure maximum safety and comfort.

This responsibility requires CRNAs to fully utilize every aspect of their anesthesia education and training, nursing skills, and scientific knowledge.

CRNAs also analyze situations, make decisions, communicate clearly with the other members of the surgical team, and respond quickly and appropriately in an emergency.

What training and experience will my anesthetist have?

The team members’ training and experience include:

  • Master’s degree in nurse anesthesia, and successful completion of the National Board Exam for Nurse Anesthetists
  • 10,000+ hours of pediatric CRNA practice at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis
  • Certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support

Stillwater Family Dental: All The Sedation Dentistry Benefits!

So, are you ready to go to sleep and wake up with all of your dental issues taken care of?

Then it’s time to schedule your sedation dentistry appointment!

We’ll put an end to your dental anxiety and help you feel more confident and show your true self.


Stillwater Family Dental provides dental services to numerous cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including Stillwater, Oak Park Heights, Lakeland, West Lakeland, Lake Elmo, New Richmond, and Hudson

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