Sedation Dentistry

  

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.

Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.

We offer the following types of sedation dentistry:

"Laughing Gas"

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your doctor will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.

“IV Conscious Sedation”

How is the IV Sedation Administered?

A thin needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube through which medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. Some patients may be asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may not sleep at all.

The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as possible to get the treatment completed. It is very safe. With IV sedation a constant “drip” is maintained via the intravenous tube. At any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medications if necessary.

“Oral Sedation”

Oral conscious sedation, or OCS, utilizes oral sedative medication to significantly reduce your fears and discomfort. OCS does not require needles to administer. Benefits of Oral Conscious Sedation: It's very effective for mild to moderate anxiety, It's safe and easy, You can breathe and speak on your own, It's less expensive than IV sedation.

In many cases, you can get ALL of your dental work done in one visit. Unlike general anesthesia, which renders patients completely unconscious, oral conscious sedation leaves you able to speak and breathe on your own. Although you will not actually be asleep, you will enjoy a heightened state of relaxation — and probably won’t remember much about the procedure afterwards. Your appointment will be a dream and hours in the chair will feel like minutes.