Dr. Steven Balloch is proud to offer IV sedation dentistry, or sleep dentistry, at his practice. He and his dental anesthesiologist have done literally hundreds of cases together over the last thirty years. He offers this service to anxious patients, and to those undergoing extensive dental work.
Sleep dentistry has been a tremendous addition to our practice. It's a fabulous service for our patients. Dr. McDonald, my dentist anesthesiologist, and I have done hundreds of cases since the mid '80s in a very safe way.
Sleep dentistry to us is IV sedation. The patient comes into the practice the day of their appointment. An IV is started. There is portable state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, pulse oximeters, to let us know what the patient's condition is throughout the whole procedure. To us, that is sleep dentistry.
There are a lot of dentists across the country that are using pills to sedate their patients. I've studied that, and I feel most comfortable with the IV form of sedation because if there's a problem, you have an IV line. You can very rapidly administer a medication to correct the problem. If you're using the pill form you don't have that opportunity. It takes oral medications much longer to take effect.
So I feel like sleep dentistry is a viable and very safe, predictable option. I've got a qualified, certified, trained professional performing the sedation, so I can focus all of my attention on the restoration that I am trying to do for my patients.
I have to say that most of our patients that come in for sleep dentistry are phobics. By that I mean they have a tremendous fear of going to the dentist, most often because of a bad childhood experience, sometimes it's from what other people have told them about their experiences, but for whatever reasons it's just been very hard for them to come into a dental practice for routine care. That's probably our most common patient. Other folks that benefit from sleep dentistry would be people who have a hard time getting numb, people who don't like the sounds or the tactile sensations of having dentistry done even in a painless environment. There are folks that gag.
There are people, like my full mouth reconstructions, who need a lot of work done all in one appointment. It's very hard to do. It's very difficult on a patient to do that with just Novocaine, with just local anesthesia by itself. We'd be happy to see a patient for a consultation to let them know a little more precisely about what the procedure involves. We have a long list of patients who are happy to recommend the treatment and talk to other patients who are contemplating having sleep dentistry done.