Fear of going to the dentist is common. Whether the fear stems from trauma as a child, painful procedures as an adult or stereotypes perpetuated by TV, all may induce fear of dental visits and much needed treatment. Dr. Ryan Estes, Dr. Allison (Marlow) Disney and Dr. Vidya Prabhu provide sedation dentistry for their patients in Florence & Highland Heights, KY to eliminate their stress and anxiety associated with dental procedures.

Sedation Options

Our doctors are certified to provide moderate conscious sedation, better known as ‘twilight’ sedation, to patients to alleviate dental anxiety and make the treatment process easier to tolerate. The options and what to expect with sedation are reviewed during the initial examination and planning. To ensure maximum safety, the entire team has CPR/Basic Life Support training and the doctors stay current with continuing education and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) training.

During Sedation, Dr. Estes, Dr. Disney, Dr. Prabhu and our team carefully monitors the patient’s heart rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and breathing. The patient is awake throughout the procedure, but the medication used often leaves the patient with amnesia of the procedure. The patient may not remember anything about the experience.

Patents who are candidates for sedation dentistry include those who:

  • Are fearful of the dentist
  • Experience difficulty getting numb
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex
  • Have very sensitive teeth
  • Have limited time for their dental care
  • Have complex dental problems
  • Have a fear of needles and shots
  • Have an aversion to the noises, smells, and tastes associated with dental care
  • Experience fear or embarrassment of their mouth and teeth

Types of Sedation Available

Dr. Estes, Dr. Disney and Dr. Prabhu will help determine what type of sedation you may need to suit your needs and desires. The different types offer varying levels of anxiety relief, including mild to moderate.

Nitrous Oxide (“Laughing Gas’): mild sedation used to help you to relax. Recovery is rapid and you are able to drive yourself to and from the dental appointment. You are awake for this type of sedation.

Oral Sedation: mild-moderate sedation used alone or prior to Nitrous Oxide or IV sedation to create a relaxed to light sleep state in order to reduce patient’s fear and anxiety. Patients are conscious. Recovery takes several hours; a driver is required. A small pill is taken about one hour before the appointment. This method does not require tubes or needles.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation: moderate sedation used alone or in combination with oral sedation to create a relaxed to light sleep state in order to reduce patient’s fear and anxiety. Patients are conscious but unaware of their surroundings. Recovery takes several hours; a driver is required. This type of sedation is more effective than the other methods because the doctors can monitor exactly how much of the sedative is administered. This method is typically used in patients who exhibit moderate to extreme dental anxiety.


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