What does it mean to be monitored at the sedation dentist?


Hi. I am the kind of patient who needs to gather information before going to a provider and asking for a specific treatment. I am interested in sedation dentistry, particularly for an upcoming treatment. My dentist doesn’t know that I planning on asking for it. I am not really sure that she offers it. I am reading on some dentists’ websites though that patients who get sedation are monitored. I would like to know what “monitored” really means. Is someone there just lookimg at you to make sure you’re still breathing or is there more to it? Thanks Kev

Kev – Good question. The monitoring that is done while you are sedated depends on the level of sedation used and your medical condition. The purpose of the monitoring is more than to ensure you are breathing—it’s to ensure your safety.

  • Automatic blood pressure cuff – Taking your blood pressuring during a dental procedure while you are sedated is critical to your overall health. If your blood pressure is consistently too high or too low, automatic readings will alert the staff to the issue so that necessary precautions can be taken.
  • Pulse oximeter – This device uses a light sensor to measure the oxygen in your blood. The device is clipped onto your finger and can detect any abnormal changes in your breathing that may not be noticeable to someone who is observing you.
  • EKG monitor – An EKG may not be required. Patients who have cardiovascular disease or who are at risk for it will need to be monitored.
  • In addition to the equipment that will be used to monitor your vital signs, a member of the dental team will always be with you in the treatment room.

After a review of your medical history, your sedation dentist will determine which level of sedation is right for your needs, as well as which forms of monitoring are required to ensure your safety. In addition to researching information on the subject, be sure to ask questions of your sedation provider to find out which levels are provided and what forms of monitoring are used in his or her office.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Bulimia and Your Teeth


More than 10 million Americans suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.

Bulimia is characterized by excessive over-eating in a short amount of time. Excessive eating is often followed by self-induced vomiting.

In time, the vomiting—whether it’s caused by bulimia or another condition—will affect your teeth. The acid from vomiting will cause teeth to become discolored, thin and weak, and they may begin to crumble.

There are some things you can do to protect your teeth. Immediately after vomiting, your teeth are weak, so avoid brushing them at that time. Instead, thoroughly rinse your mouth with warm baking-soda water to neutralize the acid in your mouth. If baking soda is not available, rinsing your mouth with just water can help. Sip water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist. A dry mouth can’t fight bacteria and decay.

If you are struggling with, or recovering from, bulimia, tell your dentist. He or she will take steps to help you preserve your teeth. Fluoride treatments can help strengthen your teeth and protect them from decay.

If you’re recovering from bulimia and you want a smile makeover, the treatment varies depending on the extent of the damage to your teeth. Porcelain crowns can be made to completely cover and protect your teeth. They will have the translucency and color of your natural teeth. If you have lost teeth, dental implants are the most natural looking and natural feeling way to replace them. After examining your teeth, your dentist will discuss your options with you.

You will get the most natural-looking restoration from an experienced cosmetic dentist who is skilled in designed smile makeovers.

This post is sponsored by Lowell dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.