Dental sedation can help patients suffering various levels of nervousness and anxiety to have a pleasant experience at our dental offices. Dental Sedation is an excellent solution for both patients who are nervous about their visit to the dentist, as well as those who are too young or energetic to tolerate treatment. Various degrees and types of sedation (nitrous oxide, oral, intravenous) are offered at our office, and our doctors are trained and experienced to help choose the type of sedation that will be most comfortable and safe for each patient. We bring a highly trained anesthesiologist into the office and the patient sleeps during the duration of their dental treatment.
Oral sedatives may be prescribed for patients prior to a dental procedure. Depending on the level of anxiety, this medication may be prescribed for a patient to take the night before a procedure to alleviate an anxiety filled, sleepless night and/or 30 minutes to an hour before the procedure to help the patient be relaxed and comfortable for their procedure. Oral sedation is also a common option for patients that are too young to hold still for a procedure. Special care is always given to ensure that all patients, young or old are administered the proper dosage. Patients using this form of sedation should have a driver take them to and from their appointment, and should not drive or operate machinery while on sedatives.
Nitrous oxide is one of the most commonly used and well known methods of conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide-sometimes called laughing gas-creates a relaxed feeling for patients as they breathe it in. It’s safe, has proven effective over a long period of time, and is pleasant. You will be given a mask that allows you to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. In about 30 seconds to 4 minutes you will notice a more sedate feeling, and your cheeks and gums may go numb. After this, any needed local anesthetic is applied and treatment begins. Afterwards, you will be given pure oxygen to breathe for about five minutes to dissipate the effects of the nitrous and return you to a normal state. Our doctors will carefully and constantly monitor the levels of nitrous oxide administered to our patients to ensure that they are comfortable and safe throughout the procedure.
Intra Venous Sedation
Intravenous sedation can produce similar effects to oral sedation, yet the doctor can monitor the patient and control dosage more easily according to how the patient feels and responds. Our doctors can vary the level of sedation from a light sedation to deep sedation depending of the patient’s needs. Like previous types of sedation mentioned, local anesthetics are used in conjunction with IV sedation to control pain and discomfort. However, unlike the other types of dental sedation, patients who receive IV sedation are generally unaware of their surroundings. These procedures are different from general anesthesia in that the patient’s protective reflexes are still intact. Patients still breathe on their own and can also respond to a variety of commands. Patients have little to no recollection of the procedures performed and feel as if they were “sleeping” through the appointment. If you have questions about sedation dentistry, or would like to schedule an appointment, contact one of our six convenient locations.