Sinking Spring Family Dental Sedation

Are You Afraid Of Going To The Dentist?


If the thought of sitting in a dental chair makes you anxious and afraid, you are not alone. In fact, thousands of people put off seeing the dentist every year and risk the health of their smile because of their fears. Dr. Kenneth Balatgek, Dr. Ronald Reiter and their compassionate staff understand. More importantly, they offer anesthesia options that include general anesthesia and intravenous (IV) sedation dentistry. Moderate sedation safely puts you into a tranquil state of mind, meaning you will feel removed from what is actually going on and have virtually no memory of your treatment once it is finished. Sinking Spring Family Dental is one of only a handful of general dental offices in Pennsylvania authorized by the State Dental Board to administer moderate sedation and general anesthesia. So don’t let fear keep you from having a healthy, beautiful smile. Discover our soothing, comfortable approach to dental care today!

“It is our mission to provide the highest level of care possible, backed by a gentle touch and the understanding that can only come from years of experience working with fearful patients. We provide our patients with a comfortable dental experience, so they can enjoy a smile they never thought was possible.”

Sedation Dentistry

Once you’ve experienced sedation dentistry, you’ll never be afraid to go to the dentist again.

You’ll be sedated just enough to be unaware of the treatment. When the procedure is completed, you’ll have little or no memory of what was accomplished.

Because sedation is safe and predictable, we can use it to relieve your anxieties and increase your comfort while we fill your teeth, place or replace crowns or dentures, restore sore gums to good health, whiten yellow or stained teeth, fix a chipped tooth, or during virtually any other dental procedure normally done without sedation.

Imagine being able to smile with confidence and chew your food without pain. No wonder so many patients say: “Sedation dentistry changed my life.”

There are many reasons 50% of the population put dental care at the bottom of the healthcare list. Some people are downright fearful while others have suffered bad experiences in the past including difficulty getting numb or a bad gag reflex. Some need extensive care and simply can’t find enough hours in the day.

It’s time to rest easy. Sedation Dentistry is here!

After an initial visit with us where all your questions and concerns will be answered, we’ll schedule your sedation appointment(s). You’ll find your treatment is performed more comfortably than you might ever have thought possible. You’ll be drowsy, and unaware of the time passing by. Our specially trained team will monitor you continually throughout the appointment. The big plus? We can accomplish extensive amounts of dentistry at one time, and you’ll have little or no memory of the experience.

For anxious patients, this treatment is a miracle. Your dental health is important and need not be neglected because you are nervous.

Relaxing Restoration

Sedation Dentistry — We offer IV Sedation for the patient looking for a painless dental experience.

Ours is one of the few general dental practices in South East Pennsylvania offering intravenous (IV) sedation. We serve patients with a wide range of needs including those with dental phobias, anxiety, fear of shots, and severe gag reflexes. In addition, we provide treatment to patients who seek IV sedation for the purpose of relaxation or convenience, thereby turning a stressful or lengthy appointment into a pleasant and comfortable experience.

Whatever the reasons- and regardless of how complex, simple or minimal the dental procedure – we make IV sedation available to any patient who requests it as long as you are fairly healthy.

We are committed to minimizing stress and maximizing safety. We are just as committed to eliminating pain. As you are discharged from our office after your dental treatment, we’ll provide you with a prescription for adequate pain control if needed.

Different Levels of Sedation for Different Needs

Moderate sedation is deep, reliable and controllable, and easily adjusted to each individual patient. This is in contrast to other typical dental office agents like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pills (oral sedation) that only provide lighter levels of relaxation.

Mild or moderate sedation/procedural sedation in which you are awake but drowsy is a very effective way to relieve anxiety. With slightly deeper sedation, you will be breathing on your own while monitored, but you will have little or no memory of your procedure once it’s completed.

An important note: General Anesthesia is also available in our office for those patients who would benefit from this service.

According to your needs we will recommend the level of sedation that is best for you.

Why Moderate Sedation?

The cost of hospital sedation for dental treatment is cost prohibitive for many patients. Over the years, I had thought to myself how dedicated those patients must be who “tough it out” in the office for lengthy treatment plans or even for a single stressful appointment, whether emergency or routine. Some patients were actually terrified, but they endured it. And I would constantly hear stories of patients who had bad experiences and would no longer come close to a dental office. There were just too many patients that were too afraid to see a dentist for even the most routine dental care. Finally I decided to make dentistry EASY for everybody right here in Berks County.

I thought there must be a better way to help those frightened people get the dental work they want or need, and so I decided to offer moderate sedation in addition to general anesthesia in my private office. Patients now have options that will effectively remove any barrier to receiving dental care and maintaining optimal oral health.

Sedation Dentistry

The more relaxed a patient is during their dental visit, the more comfortable and successful their dental experience will be. Until recently, doctors have been able to do little to relax patients who suffer anxiety at just the thought of a visit to the dentist.

Moderate sedation is the answer for many patients. Our office uses medical equipment to monitor the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, heart rhythm, CO2 waveform capnography, oxygen saturation and respiratory rates continuously to ensure that the patient is completely comfortable and reacting normally throughout the procedure.

While moderately sedated, patients are able to respond to verbal commands but they are so relaxed that they do not experience any pain, discomfort or anxiety. In fact, patients usually report not remembering much of the procedure and actually believe they were asleep throughout their appointment.

The Sedation Dental Care Standard

The standard of treating patients using moderate sedation and general anesthesia was set by physicians in the U.S. approximately 40 years ago. It is nothing new for patients to be sedated for operations on knees, feet, wrists, ears, noses, or practically anything else. A lady told me the other day, “I had to go in for a MRI (a type of x-ray). I was very nervous so my doctor gave me some sedation.” Patients ask dentists for sedation and the dentists do everything they can to talk them out of it. Most dentists do not want to go through the additional training and accreditation process that is necessary to sedate patients.

You wouldn’t think of having an ear operation or a nose operation without sedation. But, you move one inch to the teeth and it becomes acceptable to endure time-consuming, strenuous, noisy, and uncomfortable procedures on the most sensitive, personal part of the body (the mouth) with no sedation. Dentists attempt to work outside of the already established standard of using sedation. Hence, we as dentists treat only 50% of the population while physicians treat over 90%.

I have found that fearful patients mentally have no problem being sedated for dental treatment. You ask a nervous patient, “Would you rather have this work done in six appointments over the next two months or in one appointment while you sleep?”, and they look at you like you’re crazy. “Put me to sleep,” is all they say.

Sedation for certain types of dental care has been used for over thirty years. If you asked a hundred patients who have had their wisdom teeth removed how they had it done, most would say they were put to sleep to have them removed. The problem is that dentists say, “Oh root canals and drilling on teeth is not bad enough.” This is why 50% of the population does not go to the dentist. The patient is the one who needs to determine what is bad enough for them to warrant sedation, not the dentist.

If you feel that sedation, which is the standard of care for the rest of the body, is necessary for your dental care, call us at 610-678-2777. We’ll help you get the treatment you want or need, and get it the comfortable way!

Frequently Asked Questions about IV Sedation

Q: Is gentle dentistry using moderate sedation or general anesthesia for everyone?
A: This therapy is especially useful for those who:
• experience medium to severe anxiety in anticipation of pain or discomfort (usually the result of a traumatic dental experience in childhood)
• have had difficulty in the past with local anesthetics ‘not working’ for them (medium to extreme anxiety can sometimes heighten sensitivity)
• find it difficult or uncomfortable to keep their mouth open for prolonged periods (usually caused by TMJ problems or other medical conditions)
• find it very uncomfortable to have hands and instruments in their mouths (invasion of personal space)
• have difficulty controlling their gag reflex
• have a lot of work to be done and little time to spend (the dentist can work more quickly when a patient is sedated and is therefore unable to experience any discomfort)

Q: Will I really be totally relaxed?
A: Yes. You’ll receive just enough sedation so that you’ll be relaxed and unconcerned about the dental treatment.

Q: Will I remember anything?
A: Typically, no. At the end of the treatment, you’ll have little or no memory of what was accomplished.

Q: Will I feel any pain?
A: Most patients experience no discomfort whatsoever during treatment and feel surprisingly good afterwards.

Q: What treatments can I have under moderate sedation or general anesthesia?
A: Any procedure that’s usually done in our office without sedation— extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges, even teeth cleaning.

Q: Is gentle dentistry using moderate sedation or general anesthesia safe for me?
A: We’ll review your medical history and if necessary, consult with your medical doctor to be sure, and you’ll be constantly monitored while under anesthesia.

Q: Will my insurance cover it?
A: It’s best to check with your dental plan provider. However, we’ll review your coverage and, if necessary, make financial arrangements so you get the care you need.

Q: How long will I be off work?
A: Each patient is different, so this is a difficult question to answer. However, we find that patients only need to take off the day of the procedure. Most are working the next day.

Q: Why don’t more dentists do IV Sedation?
A: Pennsylvania law requires a dentist to have special authorization to perform IV Sedation. The training is extensive to qualify for this authorization. To maintain the special authorization requires specialized courses on sedation that are costly and take additional time away from the office.

Dr. Balatgek was trained in IV Sedation at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Dr. Reiter was trained in IV Sedation as well as General Anesthesia at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Q: How do I prepare for moderate sedation or general anesthesia?
A: If you have been scheduled for a dental procedure using moderate sedation or general anesthesia, please follow the following instructions. Do NOT have anything to eat or drink eight hours before your appointment. Continue to take prescribed medications unless previously instructed otherwise by Dr. Balatgek or Dr. Reiter. Bring a responsible person with you to drive you home after the procedure. Your driver must be in the office reception area before your sedation can be started.

All guidelines will be personally reviewed with you at your pre-anesthesia evaluation visit.

Q: How long will I be under anesthesia?
A: The length of your appointment will depend upon the procedure being done. There will also be an in-office recovery period after the procedure is finished. You must not drive or operate any machinery until the day after your anesthesia sedation.

Remember, the more relaxed you are during a visit the more likely it is that you will experience less trauma and pain from your procedure. Your body will not be “fighting” the stress of a dental procedure and your recovery time can be significantly reduced.