Are you afraid of going to the dentist? We understand that for many people, going to the dentist may be scary and prevent you from receiving regular care. If your fear or anxiety has prevented you from scheduling an appointment, know that there are options available to make you as comfortable as possible while receiving dental care at Accent Dentistry. Dr. Bankhead is pleased to be able to offer our patients multiple options of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation.

Dr. Bankhead has been offering sedation dentistry to patients for well over a decade. He was trained extensively both in the United States and abroad in the various methods and techniques of sedation dentistry. He continues to receive continuing education in both sedation and all forms of dentistry to offer the most options to his patients. He attends courses regularly keeping him abreast of all new methods of sedation and comfort dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a method of having dental work performed in a safe and anxiety free environment. The dentistry itself isn’t different; it’s the patient’s state of mind that is different. Rather than being anxious about the procedures being performed, the patient is given either nitrous oxygen or a series of medications that allow them to relax and enter a sleep-like state where they no longer fear the dentist.

Dr. Bankhead offers three types of sedation:

  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas): This sedation option is a breathable anti-anxiety agent that has few, if any side effects. It is safe for patients of almost any age and the effects dissipate once the appointment is over making it safe and effective. We also offer it at absolutely no charge to our patients.
  • Anxiolysis Pre-Med: A pre-medication regimen administered both the night before and an hour in advance of the dental appointment. This will require the patient to secure transportation to and from their dental appointment.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: A series of medications administered both at home and in the dental office prior to treatment which enables the patient to slip safely into a sleep like state at which point, their dental work is completed. For this method of sedation, the patient will require a ride and a clearance from their physician.

Learn more about sedation dentistry.

What are the Benefits of Oral Conscious Sedation?

  • The patient has little or no memory of the dental visit. This helps lessen dental anxiety for future visits in addition to enabling the patient to get through their current treatment. By having a positive experience under sedation, their fear of dental work is positively reduced. As well, patients often regain confidence and are able to do future appointments with lesser degrees of sedation.
  • Sedation allows patients to have numerous dental procedures and lengthy treatment plans accomplished in as little as one or two visits. As the patient is completely relaxed, Dr. Bankhead is able to work for longer lengths of time and get more work done; thereby also reducing the number of return visits. Since Dr. Bankhead is trained to perform a wide variety of dental procedures, it is also possible to complete complicated treatment plans involving multiple types of dentistry while sedated.

Oral Conscious Sedation dentistry appointments do have certain restrictions; all of which are easily addressed. Depending on the type of sedation chosen, a patient may require transportation, have certain dietary restrictions and be asked to adjust their work/social schedule. Dr. Bankhead will also want clearance from a primary care physician before sedating a patient to confirm their state of health.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is an option for almost everyone. Dr. Bankhead will review the options with each patient. Only patients with extremely complicated medical histories or health problems may be unable to be sedated for dental work. A clearance is obtained from each patient’s physician prior to the actual sedation appointment to determine what, if any, risk factors exist. This is done to ensure that whatever treatment is performed, it is always in the best interests of the patient.

If you are interested in sedation dentistry, we will schedule you for an initial consultation. No actual treatment is done at this visit as the intention is to do all treatment, including a cleaning while the patient is sedated. During the consultation, we will take images of all the patient’s teeth, gather an extensive medical history and perform a comprehensive exam. This enables Dr. Bankhead to present a complete treatment plan to the patient and properly educate them on the many options available to them.

What Can I Expect During My Dental Appointment?

For an oral conscious sedation appointment, we will ask you to arrive roughly 90 minutes before treatment is expected to begin.  A prescription is taken the night before to ensure that you awake well rested and anxiety free. Once at our office, you will be made comfortable in a treatment room while covered in warm blankets, provided headphones with the music of your choice and made comfortable. Here, the remaining medications are administered until you are completely relaxed and calm. Then and only then does the dental work begin. Local anesthetics are still used but only administered once you are comfortable and relaxed. Medications are continually administered throughout the course of the visit to make sure that you are kept in this sleep like state and relaxed.

These medications usually wear off within 24 hours but we find that most people resume normal activities the very next day.

Why Should I Choose Accent Dentistry for My Sedation Dental Care?

Dr. Bankhead has been offering sedation dentistry for over ten years and is knowledgeable and experienced in various sedation dentistry methods and safety protocols for proper sedation techniques. He is a certified sedation dentist and received his training through the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, of which he is a current member. His experience and training makes him uniquely qualified to provide you with the best dental experience possible.

In addition to his sedation dentistry training, Dr. Bankhead is also trained in ALL forms of dentistry from root canals to oral surgery to implants and gum surgery. By performing all of these different procedures, normally referred out to a variety of specialists, Dr. Bankhead is able to treat most, if not all, of the dental needs of his patients in this office while under sedation. Gone are the days of having to see multiple specialists in numerous offices, all the while having to repeat your medical history and concern yourself if each office accepts your insurance.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment or would like more information, please contact our Bellingham dentist today! Our dental practice is conveniently accessible to patients from all surrounding areas including Franklin and Milford. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice.