Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide

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.

Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option we offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures.  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 soon after the mask is removed.

Sedation is not anything new to the field of dentistry.  Many think that “laughing gas” is the only form of sedation out there…but that is not true.

Mild Sedation

Mild sedation is a type of sedation in which the patient has reduced anxiety and increased relaxation and calmness, but is able to respond to verbal or physical stimulation.  In other words, the patient has been calmed and relaxed to a point where the anxiety they may have experienced leading up to a dental procedure has been reduced or completely relieved.  These are also the safest form of sedation.

Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Most patients are a candidate for this type of sedation dentistry. If you fall into or have experienced the following categories, you are a potential candidate:

  • Have anxiety about a dental procedure
  • Have had previous bad experiences with a dentist
  • Do not like needles or needles around your mouth
  • Have difficulty getting “numb” in previous offices
  • Have a strong gag reflex, making dental procedures uncomfortable
  • Need oral surgery
  • Interested in dental implant surgery
  • Need complex dental work
  • Interested in smile makeovers or improved cosmetic appeal of smile

Pros to Mild Sedation

One great thing about oral or IV conscious sedation is that the patient is not put all the way to sleep, but still experiences a deep relief from anxiety or fear.  Both methods require the patient to be accompanied by another individual that will transport the patient to and from the facility.

Similar to that of the “laughing gas” method, many patients do not remember the procedure being completed, making hard and otherwise painful or scary procedures possible.

If you are going to use oral sedation, you will be prescribed a type of medicine that will relax you enough to have your needed procedure completed.  If you choose to use I.V. sedation, we will have an anesthesiologist come and administer the medicine in the office.  The medicine makes it possible for us to complete your needed procedure without enduring the pain or fear accompanied by many of the major dental procedures today.  It will also keep you sedated for some time after your procedure to avoid post-procedure pain or discomfort, allowing your body to start to recover before you become completely aware.

Ask us which type of sedation is right for you.