Sedation Dentistry in Miami with Dr. William P. Lamas

If the thought of having dental work performed causes anxiety, sedation dentistry at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami may be right for you. Dr. William P. Lamas offers his patients the option of sedation during their dental procedures because he wants them to feel comfortable.

What is Sedation?

In dentistry, sedation is the general term used to describe medications that create a relaxing, calming or drowsy effect. While these services may also be referred to as sleep dentistry, this is a misnomer, because most patients receive the kind of sedation in which they remain capable of moving and answering questions throughout their dental procedure. However, that said, should a patient need more advanced relaxation, Dr. William P. Lamas does offer general sedation as well. Under general sedation, patients will fall asleep; therefore, they will not be coherent during the procedure.

There are several levels of sedation dentistry:

  • Minimal

    – patients remain awake but are relaxed.

  • Moderate

    – previously referred to as ‘conscious sedation,’ patients may slur their words while speaking and will not remember very much of the procedure itself.

  • Deep

    – patients sit on the edge of consciousness but can still be easily awakened.

  • General anesthesia

    – as the deepest form of anesthesia available, patients remain completely unconscious until the procedure is complete.

Types of Sedation Available at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

There are three kinds of sedation available at Dr. Lamas’ office, oral sedation (via pills), Nitrous Oxide and IV sedation. Dr. William P. Lamas will determine which sedation he believes will serve the patient the best during the initial consultation.

Administration of Anesthesia at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Computer-Generated Anesthesia (a Method for Administering Local Anesthesia)

When Dr. Lamas uses computer-generated anesthesia, he uses a very fine needle to deliver the anesthetic to targeted locations: This method is nearly painless for the patient. As the anesthetic is injected, the computer tracks the flow to ensure the correct amount of medication is delivered. Dr. Lamas’ goal is to provide the patient with enough anesthetic to be effective and comfortable while allowing for easy adjustment. Only highly-skilled dental professionals can use this computer-generated method to provide their patients with a dose precise enough to numb a single tooth, or to anesthetize broader, larger areas of the patient’s mouth. Computer-generated anesthesia ensures the patient remains fully conscious, yet pain-free throughout the dental procedure. Depending on the treatment, the effects of this type of anesthesia can remain for a few minutes or several hours.

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation

Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation is an inhalation conscious sedation that is frequently referred to as laughing gas. This type of anesthesia is the method used most frequently in the dental office. Patients receive this form of anesthesia while wearing a small breathing mask. This mask is gently placed directly over the nose. Initially, the patient inhales pure oxygen; however, Dr. Lamas will slowly incorporate Nitrous Oxide gas into the oxygen, increasing the amount of gas until the optimal sedation level is reached. The relaxation effects provided by Nitrous Oxide can be felt quickly. When Dr. William P. Lamas uses this method, the patient can breathe independently and retain normal bodily functions throughout the entire dental procedure.

The effects a patient experiences during a sedation dentistry procedure using Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation include feeling:

  • a tingling sensation in the arms and legs;
  • heaviness in the extremities;
  • warm;
  • giddy;
  • euphoric; and
  • calm.

It is the euphoria and giddiness feelings that have given Nitrous Oxide sedation its nickname of ‘laughing gas.’

Some of the main benefits of sedation with Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation are that it has very few side effects, is easy to administer and is quickly eliminated from the body (with a half-life of just 5 minutes). There is no need for the body to metabolize Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation; therefore, it is excreted from the lungs unchanged. Due to its quick elimination from the body, this type of sedation dentistry is the only form in which a patient may be permitted to drive himself or herself home after the dental procedure. When Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation is used, the patient does remain awake and there is no memory loss; therefore, this form of anesthesia is best for patients who only experience mild anxiety during dental treatment.

Orally-Administered Sedation/Pill Sedation

Due to its ease of use, this method of sedation dentistry is relied on heavily by dental professionals who have limited-training in relation to sedation dentistry techniques; however, it not reliable in and of itself because it will not result in full amnesia. In addition, results attained can vary from one patient to the next, which makes it hard to gauge the effects this medication will have on each patient.

Orally-administered sedation dentistry is usually taken approximately an hour before the dental procedure is scheduled to begin. Since this medication will cause the patient to feel drowsy, he or she will need to be driven to the office and then home following the dental procedure.

The dose of medication the patient takes determines whether he or she is minimally, or moderately sedated. Some patients will fall asleep during their procedure; however, they can easily be awakened with just a gentle shake.

These pills contain many of the same medications used in IV sedation; however, they take longer to absorb, which can lead to long delays if the patient needs more medication. Dentists generally recommended this type of sedation for individuals who experience high levels of anxiousness prior to and during dental treatments. Although Dr. Lamas can use this type of sedation, it is typically not his first choice.

Intravenous Conscious Sedation (IV Conscious Sedation) Dentistry in Miami

At Lamas Dental Specialists, IV Conscious Sedation Dentistry is used to administer medication directly into the patient’s bloodstream. Since Intravenous Sedation requires specialized training and is overseen by the Florida Board of Dentistry, our Miami office is among the very few dental offices, nationwide, that routinely use IV Conscious Sedation (fewer than 10 percent). Using this form of sedation dentistry, if necessary, Dr. Lamas can instantly administer additional medication.

The Benefits of IV Sedation Dentistry at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami include:

  • Dr. Lamas can easily adjust the sedation level;
  • the patient remains conscious, but does not remember the dental procedure;
  • providing the patient with maximum anxiety relief;
  • being a safe and effective sedation technique;
  • taking effect quickly; and
  • offering patients a quick recovery once the procedure is complete

Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia

Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia are designed to put the patient into a deep sleep during the dental procedure. When a patient is placed under deep sedation, he or she cannot be easily awakened until the anesthesia wears off or the medication is reversed.

Regardless as to the type of sedation dentistry a patient receives, local anesthetic (a numbing medication) will also be used at the site where Dr. William P. Lamas is working. This form of anesthesia is used to relieve pain in the event that the patient feels any discomfort during the procedure.

Who is a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry in Miami?

Sedation dentistry is ideal for individuals who are anxious about visiting the dentist: Especially those who avoid seeking dental care. In addition, individuals who are having major dental work performed (i.e., dental implant surgery) are ideal candidates for sedation during treatment.

Sedation dentistry may be appropriate for patients in Miami who:

  • have difficulty sitting still while in the dentist chair;
  • become anxious due to the smells, noises and tastes associated with dental treatments;
  • have extremely sensitive teeth;
  • are embarrassed by their teeth
  • have sensitive gums;
  • are afraid of needles;
  • have suffered traumatic dental experiences;
  • need a substantial amount of dental work performed;
  • are resistant to local anesthesia, causing them to have trouble getting numb;
  • experience moderate to severe anxiety during dental treatments and procedures;
  • have a low pain tolerance; and/or
  • have a strong gag reflex.

Individuals who have responded well to anesthesia or pain medication during other medical procedures tend to do well with all forms of sedation dentistry in Miami.

Is There Anything a Patient Needs to Do Before Undergoing a Procedure with Sedation Dentistry?

The type of sedation dentistry Dr. Lamas decides to use will determine if pre-treatment preparation is required. In some cases, patients will need to fast (no food or water) on the day of their dental procedure.

Patients will need to ask someone they trust to drive them to their appointment and then home. A driver is required following anesthesia (except Nitrous oxide) because patients are usually somewhat groggy after their procedure. During the initial consultation, Dr. William P. Lamas will discuss whether there are pre-treatment and/or post-treatment restrictions that need to be adhered to.

What About Side Effects?

Although most of the side effects patients experience are either desirable (no memory of the dental procedure) or residual (continued grogginess following the procedure), there are certain medications that will interact with those used for sedation dentistry; for this reason, it is essential that patients are candid with Dr. Lamas and his staff about their medications, herbal supplements and lifestyle choices (i.e., alcoholic beverage consumption, recreational drug use, etc.).

Recovering After Sedation Dentistry in Miami

Following sedation dentistry, Dr. William P. Lamas typically recommends that patients spend the remainder of their day resting; however, as each case is unique, the length of time he recommends for rest and recovery may increase based on the method of sedation used as well as the procedure performed.

Patients must avoid driving and/or operating any type of machinery for at least 24-hours after they have been anesthetized. Furthermore, patients must take great care to remain hydrated. After any surgical procedure, the immune system is weak, which increases the possibility of an infection setting in. Water acts as a catalyst by reducing the likelihood of infection; thus, making it an essential component of the healing process.

Is Sedation Dentistry in Miami Safe?

Whenever an individual receives anesthesia, there is a risk; however, given by an experienced dentist, sedation dentistry is usually a safe option for patients. That said, individuals who have sleep apnea or who are substantially overweight should speak with their physician before they are sedated.

At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, the most important factor while performing any dental procedure is the safety of our patients; therefore, we carefully monitor our patients during their dental procedures and directly thereafter. By closely monitoring our patients, we can make sure that the anesthesia wears off in a timely manner.

Sedation Dentistry Regulations in the State of Florida

In the state of Florida, there are regulations placed on sedation dentistry. Florida’s Board of Dentistry requires that dentists complete an Intravenous (IV) Sedation Course as well as administer sedation medications to 20 patients in a clinical setting and obtain their permit before they can provide IV Conscious Sedation or Oral Conscious Sedation to their patients. Renewal requirements for this permit include four hours of continued education every two years.

Also, it is important to note that, for the safety of all patients, Florida requires that all dental offices within the state attain an automated external defibrillator (AED) and that the entire staff receive instructions on how to use the AED in the event of an emergency.

An Initial Consultation for Sedation Dentistry at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Patients who are in need of dental treatment but experience anxiety and/or who require lengthy dental procedures (e.g., dental implants, extractions, etc.) should consider scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Lamas at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami.

During this consultation, Dr. William P. Lamas will ask questions about the patient’s:

  • medical history;
  • medication and/or latex allergies;
  • current medication, herbal supplement and vitamin use;
  • lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol and/or recreational drug use);
  • ongoing health conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.); as well as
  • previous surgical procedures.

In addition, Dr. Lamas will want to know if the patient has ever had a negative reaction to anesthesia.

It is during this consultation that Dr. William P. Lamas determines which type of sedation dentistry will provide the patient with optimal results; therefore, he requests that patients be candid with him concerning the level of anxiety they experience while receiving professional dental care.

Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami Offers a Variety of Innovative Dental Procedures

Whether you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, dental implants placed or a gum treatment, Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami offers the most innovative techniques available for removing and restoring missing teeth as well as treating issues related to the gum. Furthermore, dental cleanings and regenerative treatments are also available. Each of these procedures can be performed while taking advantage of the benefits of sedation dentistry; therefore, you no longer have to live with painful gums, missing teeth and/or the threat of tooth loss due to skipped professional cleanings, and checkups.

If you avoid seeking dental care due to the anxiety you feel while you are receiving treatment, Dr. William P. Lamas can ease your concerns by using sedation dentistry techniques throughout your dental procedures. Contact his office today at 305-440-4114 to make an appointment for your complimentary initial consultation. The address of Lamas Dental Specialists is 2645 Southwest 37th Avenue, Suite 304, in Miami.


Seadtion Dentistry FAQ

I have a very sensitive gag reflex and a mold needs to be made for a retainer, can I have some type of sedation before the procedure?

Absolutely. You can use... whether it be local anesthesia to kind of numb your throat or gel form of anesthesia, or if you need to be sedated in order to reduce the gag reflex and take the mold. In our practice, we work a lot with digital dentistry, so we actually take a digital impression of your mouth and so we don't use the goop anymore. And then we have your... I would say your footprint of your mouth, digitally, and then we can produce casts or whatever models we need, over and over again. So it's a great way of doing it. Maybe you should ask your practitioner if he has the ability to digitally take your impressions so you don't have to gag.

I have high blood pressure and I want to get dental veneers, but I get nervous at the dentist; do you think sedation would help keep my blood pressure down?

All right so the question is, I have high blood pressure, I get very nervous, would the sedation help me with the blood pressure? And, yes. Yes, if you if you tend to be very nervous with your dental visits, sedation will calm you to a certain extent, depending on what kind of sedation is being performed, and will keep your blood pressure at a normal level.

Is it possible to be put to sleep and have an extensive amount of dental work done all at once?

So is it possible to be put to sleep and have extensive dental work to be done at once? And yes, that is possible and it is very common to be done. When you have extensive amount of work, there are dentists that are certified to deliver conscious sedation, deep sedation and/or general anesthesia. And so please, if it's something that you need done and you need to be sedated for, dentistry offers that type of treatment for you.

Can I get fillings and root canals during the same dentist visit if I am sedated?

I would say yes, and it is a good idea to compound procedures, perform multiple procedures at the same time. It's very efficient, particularly when you're sedating a patient. You could take longer for the things that you have to do. So, yes, for sure, if you're going to be sedated, yes. Definitely perform as many have as many things as you need done in that one visit.

How safe is IV sedation?

IV sedation is very safe. It's performed daily in dentistry by certified practitioners and done in the right way in the right facility, very, very safe to perform sedation, deep sedation or even general anesthesia, if that practitioner is certified to do so.

I am afraid of the dentist and have avoided going for years, would sedation dentistry be an option for me?

Sedation dentistry is the option for you. You can almost eliminate your fears over time by being sedated for the different procedures that you would need done. So definitely consider that. Good luck to you.

I broke a tooth all the way down to the gumline, I do not like going to the dentist; can I get sedated while this tooth is fixed?

So, absolutely, yes. If you're fearful of the dentist and you don't like to visit the dentist and it's a procedure that's going to take some time, sedation is a great choice for you. You can sedate a patient in a few different types of ways. You can have oral sedation, so that means taking a sedative an hour before visiting the doctor. And he can also give you some laughing gas to augment the sedation a bit. Or if you really need to be sedated in a form or fashion where you don't really want to be aware of what's going on, you can use different levels of sedation like conscious sedation or even deep sedation for that. So the important thing that you visit a dentist and take care of that tooth before it gets any worse. Good luck to you.
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Dr. William P. Lamas
Rating: 5 Miami Periodontist- 5 Star Reviews

Dr. Lamas THANK YOU for your great service your dedication and your passion for what you do!! I recommend him to any one who is seeking a great periodontist!! No case is too difficult or too complex for him!! Great office, Great doctor and awesome Team!!