Whether you are undergoing a dental procedure that requires sedation or you wish to calm your nerves, sedation dentistry may be the solution for you. This is the use of anesthesia and/or medication to make a patient feel more at ease. It can also be used for patients who have a strong gag reflex or low pain tolerance. Forms of sedation include nitrous oxide (commonly referred to as “laughing gas”), IV sedation, oral sedatives, and general anesthesia, each producing a different level of sedation varying from a relaxed state to going to sleep.
At our office, we are happy to provide sedation dentistry to our patients to make their visit as comfortable as possible. Before you receive any kind of sedation, however, it’s important to let your dentist know about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. You will be provided with instructions for what to do before and after the sedation is administered, and your dentist can walk you through the procedure.
Nitrous oxide is often used as a conscious sedative. It is administered as a mixture with oxygen and is effective at producing a calming effect in a patient. Patients will still be able to communicate while under nitrous oxide, but anxious or phobic patients will be much more relaxed. At the end of the appointment, oxygen will be administered to flush out the gas. The effects of nitrous wear off almost immediately, and there are rarely side effects.
Usually administered as a pill, this type of sedation does not put you to sleep, but is still effective at dulling the senses.
This type of sedation is administered directly into the bloodstream via an injection. It has immediate effects and is usually used for shorter treatments. IV sedation is considered a moderate type of sedation, but patients often report that they felt as if they slept through their procedure. They may feel groggy or sleepy afterward.
These forms of sedation are administered through medication and cause the patient to be nearly or fully unconscious.
Whether you will be undergoing a procedure that requires sedation or you’re feeling a bit nervous and need some help relaxing, we have the options available to make your dental appointment go as smoothly and comfortably as possible.