A substantial number of people fear the dentist or dental procedures. Therefore, we offer a variety of options to help our patients with their anxiety and enhance their comfort during procedures.
What kind of techniques are available?
The most popular sedative techniques are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be used depending on individual needs. Before administering any sedation, a physical and medical history and current medications must be performed.
Here is an overview of the techniques:
Nitrous Oxide (not available)
Nitrous oxide, aka “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose cover, and is administered during the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide raises the general mood and can evoke a general sense of relaxation. It relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Intravenous sedation is a moderate type of sedation. Patients report feeling like they slept through the entire procedure waking up to not remember anything. Generally used for shorter treatments (no more than 2 hours), it is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. Patients may feel dazed and sleepy when the IV sedatives are withdrawn. This is why it is important to bring a designated driver for the drive home. Food is usually ceased 8 hours prior. ‘
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. Usually, a dose of medication is taken one hour prior to the appointment and the patient is brought to the office by a designated driver.
IV and Oral Conscious sedation can be provided as needed to make the patient more comfortable.