Sedation Dentistry


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Oral Conscious Sedation


During office hours, immediate attention will be given to your situation, and you will be seen as soon as possible. After office hours, please give the office a call and follow the instructions provided. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.


Sedation with Nitrous Oxide


Laughing Gas


Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using nitrous oxide. The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation. There is no after effect such as a “hangover”. Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc. Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging. It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide: You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing.


IV Sedation


What is IV Sedation?


IV sedation involves administering a sedative through a vein, allowing the medication to work very quickly. Since it’s administered intravenously, the dentist is able to adjust the level of IV sedation as needed for the procedure. This makes it easy to tailor the amount of sedative used to the specific patient, reducing the risk of complications and side effects. While you’ll still be in a semi-awake state and you’ll probably be able to communicate with the dentist, most patients have little or even no memory of the procedure when IV sedation is used. IV sedation is often recommended by dentists for a variety of procedures to make it easier to relax during stressful, long treatments and other types of invasive dental treatments.


The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry


Some of the benefits of IV sedation dentistry include:

Offers a Higher Level of Sedation – When compared to oral sedation or inhalation sedation, IV sedation offers a higher level of sedation.

Works Quickly – Since medications are administered intravenously, the medications begin to take effect quickly. Oral sedatives can take an hour or more to act.

Quick Recovery Times – Patients generally have a shorter recovery time with IV sedation than they do with oral sedation or general anesthesia.

Works for Severe Anxiety – Even patients dealing with severe anxiety can benefit from IV sedation, since it achieves a high level of sedation.

Amnesia – Amnesia is a common side effect of the medications used for IV sedation, so patients rarely remember the dental procedure.

Diminishes the Gag Reflex – For patients with a sensitive gag reflex, the IV sedation can help to suppress that reflex, making dental treatment easier.

Patients are Still Conscious – Patients stay conscious during this type of sedation, making it a great alternative to general anesthesia for patients who want to avoid the risk of complications that come with general anesthesia, the high costs, or for those who may not be healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia.


Should I Choose Sedation Dentistry?


Only you and your dentist can determine if sedation is right for you. Because sedation covers a spectrum of treatments, you will need to consult with your dentist to discuss whether light, moderate or deep sedation best meets your needs. Your eligibility for sedation will depend on your age, health, and any other medications you may be taking.


What Should I Expect if I am Sedated for My Dental Procedure?


That depends on the type of sedation you undergo. Oral sedation is relatively simple and involves taking a prescribed medication about an hour prior to your procedure. You’ll feel more relaxed, yet completely aware of your surroundings during treatment. If you choose nitrous oxide, you’ll be instructed to inhale the gas at the beginning of your appointment. Additional nitrous can be administered throughout your procedure to keep you in a state of euphoria. At the conclusion of your treatment, you’ll be given oxygen to help ‘snap’ you out of your sedated state.

If IV sedation is right for you, you’ll be instructed to avoid foods and beverages the night before your treatment. A sedative will be administered to you intravenously prior to your procedure, causing you to fall into a deep sleep. A dental anesthesiologist will monitor you throughout the procedure and adjust dosage as needed.