Sedation at Biemcare

Do you find yourself getting nervous at the mere thought of visiting the dentist? Dental anxieties are actually more common than most realize. Data published in Medical Principles and Practice found that 36% of the population are affected by dental fears and anxieties.

Unfortunately, many individuals are self-conscious of their dental phobia and therefore do to not bring up the topic with their dentist. This leads many to skip checkups altogether (to the detriment of their oral health).

If you have a fear of visiting the dentist, you have options. At BiemCare in Vancouver, Washington, we offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. We have a caring, compassionate staff that is experienced in working with patients with dental phobias. Call us today to discuss how sedation dentistry can help during your next visit.

Dental sedation includes a number of practices that are used to calm the nerves of patients as they undergo dental procedures. Different forms of sedation can be used for short and long procedures — even routine cleanings!

Sedatives work by amplifying the brain’s natural sedative, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Nitrous oxide and other sedatives work to essentially calm down the central nervous system for a short period of time.

Sedatives also have a mild pain-relieving effect since some are partial agonists on the opioid receptors, although sedatives are never used as part of primary pain management protocols.

Often referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a gas administered through a CPAP-like nasal hood and inhaled by the patient. Since nitrous oxide is a short-acting sedative, the patient wears the nasal hood before and during the appointment.

Due to its safety and efficacy, nitrous oxide is the preferred sedative for minor procedures and for patients with dental anxieties.

Depending on your level of dental anxiety (or the complexity of the procedure), nitrous oxide may be administered alongside another form of sedation, such as oral sedation.

Often called “conscious sedation,” oral sedation is typically administered the night before and an hour before a procedure. The most common forms of oral sedation are benzodiazepines such as Ativan® (lorazepam), Halcion® (trazolam), Valium®/Diastat® (diazepam), and Versed® (midazolam). While you are under oral sedation, you should feel relaxed and lightly sedated.

Orally administered sedatives are often recommended for patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or certain renal/hepatic conditions.

Since oral sedation is long lasting, patients who are administered oral sedation must have an escort to drive them to and from their appointment.

Intravenous (IV) sedation is a deeper, more relaxing form of sedation. IV sedation is sometimes referred to as “twilight sedation” since it often produces a dream-like state even though the patient is awake throughout the procedure. With IV sedation, patients often “zone out” of the procedure and may not be able to recall even having a procedure performed once it’s all done. Since you are technically awake during the procedure, the dentist can help you “snap out” of your sedated state if necessary.

IV sedation is administered by a licensed sedation dental provider.

When placed under general anesthesia, the patient is completely unconscious throughout the duration of the procedure. General anesthesia is not a common form of sedation and is typically reserved for invasive oral surgeries and for patients who may be allergic or resistant to other forms of sedation.

When general anesthesia is used at BiemCare it is administered by either an anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

No Insurance? No Problem!
We offer simple and accessible uninsured pricing.

BiemCare works to take all major insurance including Medicare/Medicaid. No insurance? No problem! BiemCare has the most affordable pricing in the Portland/Vancouver metro. Our goal is to make surgery accessible and affordable to EVERYONE. If you find a lower price, we’ll match it, and take an additional 10% off.