Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for tag: Sedation Dentistry


Dental visit anxiety is a serious problem: Half of all Americans admit to some level of dental fear, while 15% avoid dental care altogether due to acute anxiety. The harm this can cause to dental health is incalculable.

But dentists have a number of sedation techniques that can relax anxious patients and allow them to receive the care they need. Although often used together, sedation is slightly different from anesthesia, which aims to deaden pain sensation. The aim of sedation is to calm the emotions and state of mind.

Sedation isn't a new approach: Physicians have used substances like root herbs or alcohol to relieve anxiety since ancient times. Modern dentistry also has a long history with sedation, dating from the early 1800s with the first use of nitrous oxide gas.

Modern dental sedation has expanded into an array of drugs and techniques to match varying levels of anxiety intensity. At the milder end of the scale are oral sedatives, taken an hour or so before a dental appointment to produce a calmer state. This may be enough for some patients, or it can be used in conjunction with nitrous oxide.

For those with more intense anxiety, dentists can turn to intravenous (IV) sedation. In this case, the sedative is delivered directly into the bloodstream through a small needle or catheter inserted in a vein. This causes a quicker and deeper reaction than oral sedatives.

Although similar to general anesthesia, IV sedation does differ in significant ways. Rather than unconsciousness, IV sedation places a patient in a “semi-awake” state that may still allow them respond to verbal commands. And although the patient's vital signs (heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, etc.) must be monitored, the patient doesn't need breathing assistance as with anesthesia.

There's one other benefit: The drugs used often have an amnesic effect, meaning the patient won't remember the treatment experience after recovery. This can be helpful in creating more pleasant memories of their dental experience, which could have its own sedative effect in the future.

Whether oral, gas or IV, sedatives are a safe and effective way to calm dental fears during treatment. That could help someone with anxiety maintain their oral health.

If you would like more information on reducing dental anxiety, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “IV Sedation in Dentistry.”


You may not be nervous at all about visiting the dentist. But put yourself in a child’s place — a routine dental visit could be an anxious experience for them, and even more so if it involves dental work.

Dental professionals recognize this and go to great lengths to make children’s visits as pleasant as possible. It’s common among pediatric and family dentists to see child-friendly exam rooms and a well-trained staff experienced with interacting with children.

While this helps, some children still struggle with anxiety. Dentists have one other technique that can ease a child’s nervousness: conscious sedation. This technique involves the use of pills, inhaled gas or intravenous drips to help patients relax.

Sedation is different from general anesthesia, which uses drugs to render a patient unconscious so they won’t experience pain. A sedated patient remains in a conscious but relaxed state: they can still breathe independently and, with the most moderate form of oral sedation, be able to respond to touch or verbal instructions.

Oral sedation may also be accompanied by other methods like nitrous oxide gas that also aid with physical discomfort. Many drugs used often have an amnesiac effect — the patient won’t remember details about the procedure, which could contribute to less anxiety in the future.

Typically, a child receives an oral sedative just before the procedure. Most drugs are fast-acting and leave the child’s system quickly afterward. A staff member monitors their vital signs (pulse, respirations, blood pressure, etc.) during the procedure and after in recovery. They’ll remain in recovery until their vital signs return to normal levels and then be able to go home. They should stay home the rest of the day under adult supervision, but should be alert enough the next day to return to their normal activities.

Relieving anxiety is an important tool to ensure your child receives the dental care they need. It also creates a positive experience that could encourage a young patient to continue regular dental care when they reach adulthood.

If you would like more information on conscious sedation for children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
December 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health

If you have anxiety surrounding the dentist then it’s time to find out how sedation dentistry could help you.

We know that for many people the idea of going to visit the dentist isn’t really a day at the beach. Of course, these routine visits are dental anxietynecessary if you want to get a clean bill of health from our Westfield, IN dentists, Drs. Kenneth and Katie Krause. But sometimes your dental anxiety can be so bad that it can actually prevent you from getting the care your smile needs. This is where sedation dentistry comes in.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation is something that our Westfield general dentists have been using for a while to help patients overcome their dental fears and relax during their next dental procedure so that they can get the proper care their teeth and/or gums need to be healthy. Sedation is administered, often through inhalation or by taking a prescription medication, to help the anxiety-riddled patient achieve a relaxed state while in the dentist’s chair.

What are the benefits to getting sedation dentistry?

Just from what we’ve told you already you may have been able to figure out the benefits for yourself. Here are some of the advantages to choosing sedation dentistry in Westfield:

A painless procedure: Sedation dentistry makes it possible for our patients to undergo the treatments they need while also remaining calm and relaxed. Through nitrous oxide inhalation (also known as “laughing gas”) or anti-anxiety medication, we make it easier for patients to get through their dental procedure without fear of pain.

You’ll stay relaxed: We will decide which form of sedation is right for you but one thing is for certain: whatever form we choose together will help keep you stress-free during your procedure. This is also a major benefit for patients who find it challenging or even uncomfortable to sit in a dental chair for long periods of time due to certain health conditions like ADHD or neck problems.

More efficient treatment: Some treatments may take longer than expected if the patient is stressed out or moving around too much, but sedation dentistry can make it easier to stay calm and to remain in one position without feeling stressed, uncomfortable or anxious. This ultimately means that we will get your treatment done more efficiently.

Don’t let dental fears dictate whether you get the proper professional dental care you need to keep your smile healthy. The dental experts at Krause Dental in Westfield, IN are here to make sure that trips to the dentist are a breeze.

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
June 14, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sedation Dentistry  

The procedures and technology associated with dental care have improved exponentially over the years, but concern about pain and sedation dentistryother factors keep many people far away from the dental chair. This dental anxiety can lead to major oral health problems, some of which may become emergencies if left untreated. Fortunately, dentists like Dr. Kenneth Krause and Dr. Katie Krause in Westfield, Indiana offer sedation dentistry, a safe and comfortable way to relax during dental procedures so your teeth can receive the care they need. Learn more about sedation dentistry here:

What is dental anxiety?

Stomach aches, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, racing thoughts - if these symptoms describe you before or during a dental appointment, you're probably dealing with dental anxiety. It's been estimated that 30 to 40 million Americans avoid their dentist because they fear the associated pain, loss of control in the dental chair or are recalling a negative prior experience with a dentist. Some people feel uneasiness at the smell of the office or the sight of dental instruments. Your Westfield dentist understands these concerns, and is happy to offer sedation dentistry as a way of making your visits easier.

How can sedation dentistry help my dental anxiety?

There are several ways that your Westfield dentist uses sedation dentistry to calm his patients' nerves. For those with mild dental anxiety, inhaling nitrous oxide - or "laughing" gas - can be enough to set someone's mind at ease. Others may respond well to oral sedation. This comes in the form of a pill that is taken an hour before the appointment and is designed to make you drowsy but still awake. Intravenous, or IV, sedation has a similar effect. Consulting with your Westfield dentist, Dr. Krause, prior to your appointment will help determine the level of sedation you need to feel comfortable.

Don't let your dental anxiety affect your smile. Contact Krause Dental in Westfield, Indiana to discuss your options for a comfortable dental experience today!


Making sure children are comfortable when visiting the dentist is an essential part of creating a lifetime habit of dental care. We recommend children start dental visits around their first birthday.

But for some children this may not be enough — despite parents’ and dentists’ best efforts they may still develop an inordinate fear of dental visits and even routine procedures. This kind of anxiety could inhibit them now and later in life from receiving needed dental care.

To relieve this anxiety, dentists have developed sedation therapy for children. Not to be confused with anesthesia, which numbs pain, sedation uses drugs to place a patient in a relaxed state. Depending on the drugs and dosage used, we’re able to achieve anywhere from a light state of relaxation to a deep suppression of consciousness. The approach is similar to one used with adults, although drug dosages and applications will differ with children.

 If we’re planning to use sedation with your child we recommend you feed them a low-fat dinner the night before and then refrain from any other foods or liquids until after treatment the next day. Just before the procedure (and after we’ve evaluated them physically to be sure they’re healthy enough for the sedation medication), we’ll administer the sedative, usually Midazolam and Hydroxyzine. Taken by mouth in a syrup form, this places them in a mildly relaxed state.

During the procedure a designated staff member will continually monitor their pulse, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs. We may also take other protective measures like special chair positioning or immobilization to keep movement to a minimum.

After the procedure, your child will remain in the office until their vital signs return to pre-sedation levels. Once at home, you should keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. They should not return to school or regular activities until the next day.

As sedation medication and techniques continue to advance, they’re becoming a routine part of dental care. If your child experiences anxiety, this can help make dental visits more pleasant and more likely to become part of their life from now on.

If you would like more information on taking the anxiety out of children’s dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”