What Kind of Dentist Can Put You to Sleep?

What kind of dentist can put you to sleep? As one of Connecticut’s busiest Sedation Dentistry offices, we get this question a lot. So, we’ll address it first with a quick answer:

Any dentist holding a valid sedation and/or anesthesia license can provide sedation or sleep dentistry.

You may roll your eyes as you read this. But the statement is factually correct – and very relevant. A dentist cannot do twilight sedation or general anesthesia without a special license. And this is an answer we give out when we get phone calls regarding IV sedation and “being put to sleep” in our office.

Sleep dentistry and IV sedation in Orange, CT

Very few dentists in Connecticut can provide sedation to make you to feel like this at your next dental visit. Learn which types of dentists can.

Types of Dentists Who Can Provide Sedation Dentistry

In Connecticut, there are three types of dentist who can “put you to sleep” or do “twilight sedation.”

  1. Dental Anesthesiologists – these are specialized dentists who completed a residency in anesthesia. They are highly qualified to put kids and adults to sleep. They provide the anesthesia only – they do NOT do the dentistry. As a result, they always have to work with another dentist who renders the treatment.
  2. Oral Surgeons – these are dentists who completed a 4 to 6 year surgery residency that includes training in anesthesia. They are highly qualified to provide anesthesia to adults and some kids. However, they only provide sedation for surgical procedures such as dental implants or teeth extractions – so if you want to be sedated for a crown – an oral surgeon cannot do it.
  3. General Dentists or Periodontists with a Sedation License – these are dentists who completed extra training in anesthesia and then pass an exam to provide sedation. In the cases of general dentists, they are able to do most dental procedures with a patient under sedation. Dr. Nick Calcaterra falls into this category.
IV Sedation dentistry by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra in Orange, CT

Dr. Nick Calcaterra is a general dentist with the training and license to sedate teenagers and adults.

The common element among the practitioners above is that they all have licenses granted through the state of Connecticut allowing them to provide sedation or put patients to sleep.

So Not All Dentists Can Put You to Sleep?

Correct! In fact, very few dentists in Connecticut have the training and license to sedate you.

If you are going to be sedated by an oral surgeon or dental anesthesiologist – then you can relax – you’ll be in good hands.

If another type of dentist offers or advertises sedation, you should make sure he/she has the proper training and license.

IV Sedation License is required to do sedation dentistry

Interested in being sedated in Connecticut? Make sure your dentist has this license!

Unfortunately, there are some dentists within the state of Connecticut who offer “sedation” or “sleep dentistry” but who do not possess the license to do so. We strongly suggest you avoid going to those offices. We only recommend you be sedated by an oral surgeon, an anesthesiologist, or other dental provider with a license to do so. Dr. Nick Calcaterra is fully licensed in the State of Connecticut and is a Master in the College of Sedation – the highest level that can be achieved for a general dentist.

To learn more about what it takes to earn a sedation or anesthesia license, you can go to our page here.

Request a sleep dentistry appointment

Want to learn more about IV sedation with one of Connecticut’s premier sedation dentistry offices? An office that routinely completes over 100 cases per year? If yes, call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment with Dr. Nick Calcaterra.

We Now Offer Exparel for Oral Surgery

We are pleased to announce that we are offering Exparel for non-opioid pain relief after oral surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth extractions. We are one of only a handful of dental offices across Connecticut publicly offering this solution. Dr. Nick Calcaterra personally administers Exparel himself in our Orange, CT office.

What is Exparel?

Exparel is a medication used to provide long lasting pain relief after invasive surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth removal with IV sedation. It is a liquid medication that comes in vials. Dr. Calcaterra administers the medication directly into the surgical sites immediately upon completion of the procedure. Once administered, Exparel acts as a long lasting numbing agent, providing pain relief for up to 4 days.

Exparel non-opioid pain reliever seen in Orange, Connecticut

A box of Exparel medication that Dr. Nick Calcaterra administers after wisdom teeth surgery in our office in Orange, CT

When used along with traditional pain medications such as high dose Motrin (a.k.a. ibuprofen), our patients need reduced amounts of opioids, or in many cases do not need opioids at all.

Why Exparel?

Vicodin prescribed after oral surgery in Orange, CT

Vicodin – called hydrocodone – is typically prescribed after oral surgery

As you are likely aware, the use of opioids (a.k.a. narcotics such as Vicodin and Percocet) in the United States has created a crisis. There are many factors behind the crisis, but the end result for certain users of opioids is addiction, disability, and sometimes even death.

There is a wealth of research which shows that for many patients – typically older teenagers and young adults – their first exposure to opioids is after third molar extractions. Generally speaking, research has shown that those individuals who received narcotic prescriptions for wisdom teeth were more likely to develop addiction problems later on in life.

Given the risks associated with opioids and the crisis, Exparel was developed. Exparel has been proven in clinical studies to reduce the need for opioids following wisdom teeth removal.

Are Opioids Still Necessary for Wisdom Teeth Extractions?

Sometimes (in our opinion and experience).

Pain affects people differently. Wisdom teeth cases vary significantly in their surgical complexity and invasiveness. Our patients’ medical histories, age, and other factors also impact how much pain they will experience and what type of medications they will require afterwards.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra with Exparel for wisdom teeth extractions in Orange, Connecticut

Dr. Nick Calcaterra with Exparel he is about to administer after a wisdom teeth removal case in Orange, CT

Given the dynamic and unpredictable nature of post-surgical pain, we will re-phrase the question:

Do we still prescribe opioids after tough surgical cases? Sometimes

But we feel comfortable stating the following:

Based on our own use of Exparel on patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions, we’ve witnessed firsthand a reduction and sometimes elimination of the need for opioids.

Can Exparel Help?

The short answer is: probably.

Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon. See if they offer Exparel. See what their experiences have been. Use the internet. Learn more on our Exparel page. Read about Exparel on Reddit.

Appointment request for wisdom teeth surgery with exparel

Do you need your wisdom teeth out and want Exparel to reduce the pain afterwards? Are you looking to avoid opioids after oral surgery? Do you need IV sedation? Then you’ve come to the right place. Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra awarded Master Status from American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

Dr. Nick Calcaterra recently sat for and passed the rigorous exam to become a Master in the College of Sedation in Dentistry. This makes Dr. Calcaterra the only general dentist in the entire State of Connecticut who has achieved this prestigious certification who is actively providing IV sedation.

This accomplishment, along with being one of only a select few general dentists in all of Connecticut with a license to provide sedation, has made him the most accomplished sedation dentist in the entire state.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra Master College of Sedation in Dentistry

What is the College of Sedation in Dentistry?

American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

The College of Sedation in Dentistry was created and is maintained by the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. ADSA, as it is called, is the professional organization representing dental professionals who employ advanced forms of sedation and anesthesia to patients.

The College of Sedation is designed primarily for general dentists and periodontists who wish to further their anesthesia skills. Achieving Master Status – which is the highest level a general dentist or periodontist can achieve – indicates that the provider has complete mastery of all the skills needed to perform IV sedation in his or her office. The rigorous prerequisites – along with a three hour board exam – make it extremely difficult for providers to achieve this status.

Why Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Nick Calcaterra?

Dr. Nick Calcaterra’s vast experience and expertise in sedation for dental patients is what sets him apart. And becoming the only general dentist in Connecticut to be admitted as a Master is testament to his commitment and knowledge.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra Master College of Sedation

Dr. Nick Calcaterra with his two Anesthesia assistants Cyndi and Amanda.

Dr. Nick averages over 100 sedation cases per year, performing procedures such as extractions, root canals, and even simple fillings. For Dr. Calcaterra, sedations are an almost daily procedure. Most other sedation providers – assuming they even have a sedation license – average only one or two cases per month.

Our vast experience in providing twilight anesthesia to patients – along with our caring staff – and Dr. Calcaterra’s deep expertise – are why Connecticut patients choose our office.

Sedation Dentistry requestAre you interested in learning more about sedation dentistry? Then you’ve come to the right place! Go to this page to request a consultation or call us at (203) 799 – 2929. Dr. Nick and two assistants Cyndi and Amanda will be happy to help you.

 

Liz’s IV Sedation Video – Over 110,000 YouTube Views!

(Note: this post was updated to reflect the total number of views)

That’s right. Our video – Liz’s IV Sedation Wisdom Teeth Journey – has been viewed over one hundred thousand times on YouTube! And even more impressive, it racked up this number of views in only 18 months. In the video, you see Liz during her third molar extraction procedure – being sedated and having her teeth removed – and then hear her talk about it when we interview her several weeks later.

Is the viral YouTube popularity due to our brilliant videography? Our excellent surgical techniques? Our expertise in IV sedation? Our awesome staff? All of the above? Check it out and see for yourself:

What do you think? Did you watch all 6 minutes of it? We bet you did – along with over 110,000 other YouTube viewers!

We believe the explosive YouTube popularity has to do with several factors:

  1. Great videography and editing by our multifunctional Dental Assistant Cyndi.
  2. Compassionate surgical and anesthesia skills exhibited by Dr. Nick in the video.
  3. A great patient – Liz – who remembers almost nothing of the procedure – but who was kind enough to allow us to document her surgical journey.

It could also be due to her virtually painless healing period afterwards. Or the mango sherbet (go to the 3:55 point to see Liz as for it during the sedation).

Want to be featured in one of our YouTube videos and become an overnight viral sensation? OK – we can’t guarantee that – but we can guarantee a great experience with one of Connecticut’s most experienced sedation dentists.

appointment request with Dr. Nick Calcaterra Sedation DentistInterested in learning more about IV sedation with Dr. Nick? Need your wisdom teeth removed and want twilight anesthesia? Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.