Dental Sedation FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How are you qualified to do these procedures?  Is this something you do routinely?  Is this a “normal” activity for a dental office?

A:  Dr. Karmy has completed a residency in dental anesthesiology and has been providing office based anesthesia services to dental patients for over a decade.  He dedicates approximately half of his clinic time to providing these services and thus stays not only proficient but current in the provision of anesthesia to patients – working in a sedation environment on a daily basis.  Although not available in all practices, the availability of office based anesthesia and sedation is common place in medical and dental offices, from general dentistry to specialty practices like periodontics, pediatrics, and oral surgery.

Q:  Can I remain in the treatment room when my child receives dental treatment under general anesthesia?

A:  Parent’s naturally want to protect their children, and often struggle with the idea of not being there for them during a vulnerable time.  Parents are often stressed as this will be their child’s first “major medical procedure”.   Parents feel they have to “be strong” for their child.  You do not.  Let us take care of your child.  Some parents insist on being present during induction of anesthesia, assuming their presence will reduce the child’s stress level.  After a decade of anesthesia inductions, we have found that during the brief period of consciousness that our little patients endure is much less stressful without a parent present, as this enables the child to focus on us, not you.  Relax, read a magazine or listen to music, and let us focus on caring for your child.  We will gladly show you the surgical suite and its contents before or after the procedure – but do not allow non staff members to be present during anesthesia cases.  In the unlikely event of a medical emergency – we need our team to fully focus on our patient.

Q: I’m a huge gagger, and hate the idea of dentistry because of all the things in my mouth.  Am I a candidate to be treated under intravenous conscious sedation?

A:  Most likely – yes – because we can titrate the level of sedation – we can generally get patients with sensitive gag reflexes nice and comfortable – and the gag reflex goes away.  Occasionally we have a patient who is unconscious and deeply sedated – and still gags – these patients require general anesthesia to abolish those reflexes in order to receive treatment.

Q: I’m a needle phobic seeking dental care.  I’m terrified of the idea of anything happening to my mouth.  I will not tolerate local anesthetic in my mouth nor will I allow anyone to start an IV on me.  Can you help?

A: Yes.  Needle phobic patients may be treated under general anesthesia.  We can induce general anesthesia through inhalation of volatile anesthetics via facemask – no needles during consciousness required.  Depending on the treatment and the patient’s ability to cooperate for diagnosis, multiple anesthetics may be required.  We may have to obtain diagnostic information (dental examination and radiographs under general anesthesia) during one session, and schedule dental treatment under subsequent sessions after obtaining informed consent for dental treatment from the patient.

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