Dental Sedation Options

If you feel anxious or even fearful about dental treatment, you are not alone. We want you to know that such feelings are common and people of all ages experience them. We also want you to know that we can help! We offer multiple sedation dentistry options to help you get the treatment you need, just the way you need it.

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Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help patients relax. It is a sweet-smelling, colorless blend of oxygen and nitrous oxide gases that can create feelings of well-being and tranquility when inhaled. Some patients even describe a sense of floating or giddiness, which is why it is called “laughing gas.”

Nitrous oxide is administered through a comfortable mask with a little cone that sits on your nose. Our doctors have special equipment to monitor and adjust the proportion and flow rate of laughing gas released. This equipment is regularly checked and calibrated, and nitrous oxide is administered by specifically trained staff.

Normal breathing of pure oxygen for several minutes after treatment completely reverses the effects of nitrous oxide, so you will feel like yourself again in no time and be able to resume your regular daily activities.

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Advantages to Nitrous Oxide

This safe and easy dental sedation option helps many patients feel comfortable during treatment, especially children and adolescents who experience dental anxiety. Nitrous oxide has been found helpful for patients who have a strong enough gag reflex to interfere with dental treatment, and it can also make dental visits easier, better experiences for patients with mental or physical impairments.

  • Nitrous oxide is probably the safest of all anesthetics used in dentistry with very few side effects or risks.
  • Receiving nitrous oxide is painless, involving no more than a small mask over the nose.
  • Pleasant feelings of calmness are felt almost immediately.
  • Patients remain fully conscious during treatment.
  • After treatment, the effects of nitrous oxide are quickly reversed.
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Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation, sometimes referred to as “relaxation dentistry,” is another option we offer to help patients become as comfortable as possible through a simple pill. Some people mistakenly call it “sleep dentistry,” but although patients feel very calm and relaxed during treatment, they are still awake and able to respond.

Oral sedation medications are measured and evaluated by pharmacists and physicians on a safety scale called the “therapeutic index,” where the higher the number on the scale, the better the safety rating. The conscious sedation medications used by our doctors have high numbers on this index.

When consulting with you about oral conscious sedation, we will need to know your health history, including medications you are taking and habits such as alcohol consumption and smoking. These factors are taken into careful account when we plan treatment, and we will go through the proper preparation steps with you prior to your dental sedation visit. For example, you should not drink grapefruit juice within 72 hours before or after dental treatment with sedation.

Most patients experience little to no discomfort or remaining effects from a sedation dentistry visit. You might feel a little wobbly immediately after treatment while the medication wears off, but we will give you simple, helpful instructions for the rest of your day. Plan to have a companion drive you to and from your dentist appointment.

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Advantages to Oral Conscious Sedation

We will give you just enough medicine so you can be pleasantly unaware of your dental treatment, and we will closely monitor you to ensure that the sedation process is safe and goes smoothly. Thanks to oral conscious sedation, more patients can have all necessary treatment completed in one day, they regain alertness feeling refreshed, and they do not have to take more time off work or other important daily activities.

  • This form of sedation eases patients with high levels of dental anxiety or fear.
  • Oral conscious sedation is a great option for patients with strong gag reflexes.
  • Receiving this specific treatment doesn’t make you feel numb in the mouth.
  • Because it is administered through a pill, there is no need for shots.
  • Patients don’t have to deal with any unpleasant noises, smells, or tastes associated with dental treatment.
  • Anyone who is embarrassed about their teeth can still receive more extensive treatment to get the smile of their dreams.