Dr. James S. Kim, DDS. SC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Sedation Dentistry

How can we help you?

We strongly encourage and invite questions from our patients. An educated and informed patient is a patient who is empowered to take control over his or her own healthcare. Please take a look through this selection of questions our patients often ask. If your question is not answered here or if you’d like further information, please give us a call at 715-849-5667

How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist

Sedation Dentistry

Studies show that as many as 1 in 7 people avoid seeking dental treatment because of fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, this often means that anxious patients don’t see a dentist until pain and other serious dental problems drive them there. This reinforces the idea that dental treatment is painful and scary and continues the vicious cycle.

At the Wausau dental office of Dr. James Kim, we’ve decided to be part of the solution. We want to make it possible for everyone to visit the dentist and get the care they need and deserve.

Dr. Kim is skilled in sedation dentistry and can use nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation to help relax you and reduce your fear and anxiety. Additionally, Dr. Kim is one of a select few dentists in the state of Wisconsin who can use IV sedation.  

If you’ve been putting off routine dental visits because of anxiety, you owe it to yourself to find out more about sedation dentistry and how it can help. Routine visits are important to help prevent dental emergencies. Call us today to find out more about how sedation dentistry can turn your dental visit into a pleasant, relaxing experience. 

While sedation dentistry can be appropriate for children in certain specific circumstances, we want to ensure the safety of our patients.

Children’s bodies are not the same as adults. They have specific needs, and providing medication (including sedation) is not as simple as just “cutting the dose.” There are many factors that need to be taken into account.

For this reason, we recommend that younger patients who are in need of sedation dentistry should see a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have received additional training in the specific sedation needs for children and have the necessary knowledge to ensure your child’s safety.

Children who may benefit from sedation dentistry include:

  • Children who are too young to follow instructions or sit still
  • Children who need extensive dental treatment or restorative dentistry
  • Children with special needs who may have anxiety or an inability to stay still

If you like, we are happy to provide you with a referral to a pediatric dentist.

Our Wausau dental office can provide sedation dentistry, including nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation, to our teenaged and adult patients. We follow all necessary precautions to ensure your comfort and safety throughout your treatment. These are our top priorities.

Dental fear and anxiety are incredibly common. Some studies estimate as many as one in seven people may experience such strong anxiety that they avoid dental care altogether.

Levels of anxiety can vary from mild fears to strong panic and phobia. This means that the way we address dental anxiety also needs to vary.

We are proud to offer several different levels of sedation dentistry to our patients. No matter what level of fear you experience, we have a solution for you.

Patients who experience mild fear or anxiety may benefit from nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas.” This gentle sedative is inhaled and provides a calm or sometimes mildly euphoric sensation. The sedation effect quickly leaves the body after the mask is removed, which means that you can safely drive yourself to and from your appointment and resume your normal activities.

Oral sedation relies on an anxiety-relieving medication taken in pill form. You take the medication about an hour ahead of your visit, and it reduces both anxiety and sensation. This option is stronger and the effects linger for a longer time, so you will need a friend or family member to take you home following your appointment.

If you have a great deal of dental work to complete or severe anxiety, please talk to us. We can help! Dr. James Kim is one of very few dentists in Wisconsin to offer IV sedation dentistry to his patients. IV sedation provides deep relaxation. You also won’t remember much of your appointment. If you opt for IV sedation, you will need a ride to and from our office and you should plan to take it easy until the medication fully wears off.

Because each patient is a unique individual, we are careful to listen closely to your needs when we are discussing sedation dentistry and whether that can be beneficial.

The fact is – some people handle cleanings just fine but need mild sedation for more extensive procedures while eithers feel intense anxiety just at the thought of sitting in the chair. And that’s okay! We just want to know more about your concerns so we can adjust our treatment to suit you.

Sedation dentistry can be effectively used in the following scenarios:

  • Children and those with special needs – We do not provide sedation dentistry for children at our Wausau dental office. Because of the variation in children’s bodies, it is important that you seek care from a pediatric dentist (a specialist who has had extra training in children’s dental care) if your child struggles with routine treatments. We are happy to provide a referral.
  • Fear and anxiety – One in seven people avoids seeing the dentist because of fear and anxiety. If you are one of these people, please let us know. We have calming options that range from nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) to deep IV sedation.
  • Long or extended treatment – If you require multiple procedures, sedation dentistry may be a good option. Sedation can help the time seem to fly by and often reduces your memories of the treatment. This also reduces the need for multiple appointments.
  • Specific treatments – Some people do just fine during a cleaning but start to feel stressed at the idea of certain therapies, like root canal therapy or an extraction. If you feel your pulse start to race when we recommend a treatment, please let us know so that we can address your needs. 
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