The Tomko Dental Associates team works hard to ensure our patients always feel welcome and comfortable from the moment they arrive at our Allentown, PA dental office, but we know that for some patients, our kind, caring team and warm environment are still not enough to relieve dental anxiety. For anxious patients, those with sensitive teeth, gums, and gag reflexes, and those in need of multiple procedures, we may recommend some level of relaxation. In keeping with the state of Pennsylvania regulations, Dr. Lorri Tomko is able to offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation, and she partners with anesthesiologists to provide more advanced forms of relaxation dentistry in our office. Contact our team to find out more or schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Tomko is happy to offer mild nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation for patients. Nitrous oxide is breathed in through the nose during treatment. Dosage is easily adjusted and takes effect almost immediately making it a great option for patients with some anxiety or dental sensitivity. The effects of nitrous oxide also wear off right away, so patients can return to their daily activities immediately following treatment. Oral conscious sedation is administered in pill form. Patients take the prescribed medication at a predetermined time prior to their appointment. Then, a friend or family member should drive the patient to our office. For most people we treat, the effects of sedation completely wear off after eight to twelve hours, but we encourage patients to plan for 24 hours of rest from the time they take their medication.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is offered in our Allentown, PA practice through a partnership with a local group of anesthesiologists. An expert in anesthesia administration and monitoring will be on hand throughout the procedure to monitor patients’ response to the sedative, adjust dosage, and ensure patients’ safety. The anesthesiologist administers the sedative through an IV in patients’ arms, and like nitrous oxide, the effects are felt very quickly. Unlike nitrous oxide, the effects of IV sedation do not wear off quickly, so patients should plan to have a friend or family member drive them to and from our office and avoid operating heavy machinery or performing complex tasks for at least twelve hours after treatment.
The only form of sedation that renders patients entirely unconscious is general anesthesia. This service is available in our office and provided by a trained anesthesiologist. General anesthesia is often referred to as sleep dentistry, but the anesthetized patient is more than just asleep. Anesthesia reduces patients’ response to pain, allowing them to rest comfortably through even the most complex procedures. The amount of time patients remain unconscious depends largely on the individual, but typically, patients are relaxed for an hour or more. Additionally, due to the long lasting effects of general anesthesia, patients should rely on a trusted friend or family member to drive them to and from our office and monitor them for at least eight hours following treatment.