by Dr. Kenneth Polke

If you are afraid of going to the dentist, even for routine procedures, you?re not alone. Dental fear is a common problem for an estimated 75% of adults. The fear, which can be mild, moderate or severe, often prevents people from getting the treatment that they need.

People with dental fear often have sensitive teeth, a low pain threshold, difficulty sitting still, a bad gag reflex or need a lot of dental work.

Sedation dentistry is one way to reduce your dental fears and anxieties. It involves the use of medication to calm you down during dental procedures.

Not all methods of sedation are the same. Some will leave you awake but relaxed while others result in complete unconsciousness.

Many times sedation can be accomplished with a pill (oral sedation), which is taken an hour before the procedure. You?ll be awake while undergoing the procedure, but feel sleepy.

Nitrous oxide (also called ?laughing gas?) is a type of minimal sedation used for relaxation. The gas is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask positioned over your nose. The effect is short-lived, just enough to get you through the procedure comfortably.

IV sedation dentist care is a moderate form of sedation dentistry involving the administration of medicine directly into your bloodstream. The drugs used during IV sedation are anti-anxiety medications, not painkillers, and their effects are almost immediate. You will still be conscious and able to understand and respond to your doctor, but you will also feel very relaxed and not upset by the procedure. Sometimes painkillers are also used depending on the circumstances. Even with IV sedation, you will still need to get an injection to numb the area being worked on.

During the sedation, both the IV and your vital signs will be closely monitored. Your dentist will be able to change the degree of sedation as needed. You may also be given supplemental oxygen through a small tube in your nose.

After IV sedation, you may feel a little groggy or sleepy. It?s very likely that you will not remember what happened, or only remember some of what occurred. You will need to be driven home, where you will spend the remainder of the day resting. Following the procedure, you will also want to avoid heavy meals and alcohol.

IV sedation is generally considered a safe procedure. One of its biggest advantages is that the dosage and degree of sedation can be tailored to the individual?s specific needs. Gagging problems are also significantly reduced, if not completely eliminated. Unlike general anesthesia, you will also be able to hear and carry out instructions from your dentist.

If you would like IV sedation during your next dental visit, make sure you find a dentist who has the appropriate training. Experience is also important.

Keep in mind that the dentist (Denver sedation dentist) you choose will need information on your health and medical history, as well as any medications you are currently taking.

You don?t have to be afraid to go to the dentist. IV sedation can make dental procedures much more comfortable and make your dental visit a relaxing and enjoyable experience.


Dr. Kenneth J. Polke, (IV sedation dentist Westminster CO,

is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He received his Bachelor?s degree from the University of Dayton, and went on to study dentistry at Case Western University Dental School. Kenneth Polke is also an NFL Alumni, having played in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and as quarterback for the Cleveland Browns! While he still has a passion for football, he chooses to serve the needs of his patients as a dentist (Broomfield CO area) at American Dental Excellence ( in Westminster, CO, which he opened in 1981. Dr. Polke offers the latest in dental services ( Dr. Kenneth Polke and American Dental Excellence can be reached at 303-920-4900.

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