Sedation Dentistry

Spokane Sedation Dentistry - Mark Jensen, DMD - Oral Conscious Sedation in Spokane, WA



If you become anxious just thinking about a visit to the dentist, you’re not alone. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, about 12 percent of adults have high dental anxiety, causing many to avoid the dentist altogether. Dental anxiety, unfortunately, keeps many people from achieving their optimal oral health.

At Millwood Family Dental in Spokane, WA, Dr. Mark Jensen has integrated a solution into his practice for patients nervous about their next dental visit. For many, sedation dentistry helps make dental visits more comfortable. Dr. Jensen provides oral conscious sedation and inhalation conscious sedation (nitrous oxide), both of which allow the patient full control over their bodily functions and the ability to breathe on their own.

Patients who choose our Spokane sedation dentistry often report relief from their anxiety and fear and instead experience a calm, relaxing visit to the dentist office. In fact, some patients who choose sedation dentistry leave their dental visit with no memory of the procedure at all. We hope the information on our website will ease your thoughts about sedation dentistry so that you too can have a comfortable dental experience when you visit Millwood Family Dental.

Sedation dentistry, sometimes called relaxation dentistry, refers to methods used by dentists to manage pain and anxiety during dental appointments. Unlike general anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond, patients under conscious sedation are able to respond to commands and breathe on their own. Conscious sedation is defined as a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient's ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal commands. This type of sedation dentistry is produced by pharmacological or non-pharmacologic methods or a combination thereof.

There are actually 14 different ways that sedation drugs can be administered. There are two primary ways that sedation is administered at Millwood Family Dental:

  1. Enteral Conscious Sedation, or "Orally Administered Sedation,” is achieved by taking a pill. Some patients are prescribed to take the medication the night before; others are advised to take the medication about an hour before their procedure. While under the medication, your gag reflex is decreased, allowing the dentist to complete more work in less time. All bodily functions remain normal and the patient breathes on his/her own. The medication used for oral conscious sedation is from a group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. Not only do these medications have a sedative effect, but they also have some degree of amnesic effect for most people. Patients remember little or nothing about their dental appointment. You’ll need a current checkup from your doctor before we can prescribe oral medication.
  2. Inhalation Conscious Sedation, also known as Nitrous Oxide or "laughing gas," can be administered. This is the most commonly used sedation method. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on his/her own. The patient will often fall asleep and experience some degree of amnesia of the dental appointment. Inhalation Sedation has been used by dentists for many years.

At Millwood Family Dental in Spokane, WA, Dr. Jensen and his staff hope that these methods of conscious sedation dentistry provide patients with a way to overcome fear and dental anxiety so that they can achieve and maintain the best oral health. Additionally, administering our Spokane sedation dentistry allows us to get a lot of work done in fewer visits, because we understand how important your time is.

If you have questions about sedation dentistry in Spokane, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.