We understand for some patients a visit to the dentist can come with anxiety or nervousness. We want our patients to be comfortable in every aspect of their visit at our office. To aid with anxiety we offer a few sedation options.
Nitrous Oxide: “Laughing Gas”
Nitrous Oxide can be used during treatment to help those patients with minor anxiety. Nitrous oxide is a gas which is administered through a mask covering the nose. During the treatment, nitrous oxide levels can be adjusted to accomodate individual preferences. When treatment is completed, nitrous oxide is “flushed” from the body with 100% oxygen in just a few minutes. The patient should return to normal and is free to leave on their own. Nitrous oxide is a very safe and effective method to manage minor anxiety which does not require a driver to and from dental appointments.
Oral or conscious sedation is used for the patient who has a higher level of fear or anxiety. Oral or conscious sedation is commonly referred to as sleep dentistry because most patients tend to fall asleep. However, patients are not guaranteed to fall asleep and patients should be able to respond to verbal signals during treatment. Pills (most commonly Halcion) for adults and liquid medication ( most commonly diazepam) for children is administered in office one hour before dental treatment begins. The patient’s vitals are monitored continuously during treatment using a pulse oximeter. Oral sedation is very safe and effective. However, should an adverse reaction occur, a reversal agent for the oral sedation is keep in office. The reversal agent will counteract the oral sedation drug in a matter of minutes. Once dental treatment is completed, the patient will need a driver and someone to stay with them for the remainder of the day, as the effects from the sedation can last for several hours afterward.
If a patient requires IV sedation, we work in conjuction with a local anesthesiologist to provide the treatment. If the patient is medically cleared for IV sedation, the anesthesiologist will administer and monitor the sedation in office. This type of sedation also requires a driver and someone to stay with the patient for the remainder of the day.
The fees for all types of sedation options are different. If you are interested in any sedation options please let your doctor know at the time of your initial consultation.