Think it’s impossible to relax at the dentist’s office? Modern sedation techniques let you rest comfortably while receiving the dental care you need and want. If fear of the dentist keeps you from necessary treatment, ask us about our sedation options to ease you through any procedure. We offer IV Sedation, Oral Sedation and Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas).
IV sedation is the deepest level of sedation we offer. It can alleviate severe anxiety and phobias associated with dentists, needles, and drills to make any dental procedure pleasant. In addition, patients with sensitive gag reflexes and those with TMJ or other neuromuscular disorders that make it hard to keep their mouths open for long periods of time often benefit from IV sedation. IV sedation can be used for anything, ranging from short, simple procedures such as cleanings to more lengthy, involved cases such as wisdom teeth.
You receive the drug through a vein so it goes to work quickly. The sedative dosage we administer correlates to the intensity of your anxiety or discomfort. IV sedation allows us unprecedented control over relaxation levels, so we can tailor the sedation to your specific needs. Depending on the amount of sedative you receive, you will feel extremely relaxed, drowsy, and often fall asleep completely. Typically, patients remain conscious and can respond to questions but do not experience extreme nervousness or discomfort, remembering little to nothing about the appointment afterwards. We will consult with you to determine your anxiety level and decide whether IV sedation is safe for you, based on medical history and present health conditions.
Oral sedation is now one of the most common techniques used to quell patients fears. The technique is easy and requires no needles, just simply take a pill by mouth the night before the appointment and/or a hour prior to the dental visit. The pill will make you drowsy, although you will still be awake. By the time of the appointment, the patient is in a relaxed state and remains calm and free of anxiety during the procedure. Some people become groggy enough to actually fall asleep but, they can be awakened with a gentle shake. Oral sedation is an effective and low cost relaxation technique which is most suitable for the management of light to mild degrees of dental anxiety. However, oral sedation is a more minimal amount of sedation compared to IV and is not as easily titrated to each patients needs.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is another option we offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions we may have. We will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly after breathing O2 for five minutes and the mask is removed. This is the only sedation we offer that does not require an escort to bring you to and from the office.
We understand your fear about visiting the dentist, as well as your desire for healthy, beautiful teeth. We can help you achieve the smile of your dreams with the compassionate care you deserve. Ask us if sedation is right for you!