What you need to know about Sedation Dentistry
Minimal sedation commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is an inhalable gas that is mixed with oxygen and administered through a nose mask. The amount given can easily be adjusted by your doctor or hygienist for optimal comfort. You’ll feel yourself letting go of the stress of the dental visit while our team of experts perform your scheduled services. This sedation option is also attractive to many patients because there are no after effects once the mask is removed. Patients are able to drive themselves home from the appointment, unlike the other sedation options.
The middle-of-the-road option is oral sedation, or sedation by taking a pill. Depending on your medical history, height and weight, your doctor can prescribe a medication that is right for you. The prescription is taken usually one hour before your appointment so it starts working by the time the doctor is ready to see you. Similar to nitrous oxide, you will be awake throughout the procedure, but the medication will cause drowsiness. Some patients are so relaxed that they even fall asleep in the chair! For your safety, we always recommend that you have someone drive you to our office and home from the procedure.
The most fearful patients usually opt for IV sedation for their dental appointments. This option is administered directly into a vein, so the medications work almost immediately once administered. Although you will have little or no memory of the procedure, you will be conscious and breathing on your own for the entire visit. That means if we ask you to open wide, you will be able to respond by opening your mouth, but will not have any memory of this at all. Since you will not be aware of what is happening, we usually recommend doing as much dentistry as possible in each visit. In one or a few visits, you will be able to complete many years of needed dentistry. Fear and dental anxiety does not have to hold you back anymore.
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