Sedation Dentistry

Many people have dental phobias, usually arising from unpleasant dental experiences in the past. Dental techniques in earlier years were not nearly as painless as modern dentistry. Still, the knowledge that current visits can be quite comfortable does not alleviate the emotional "post-traumatic stress syndrome" that affects many patients.

Still, for some these techniques are not enough. For these patients we can prescribe an oral sedative to help them get the dental care they need and want. While this technique does not put the patient to sleep, patients are very relaxed and often don’t remember much of their visit. It also helps the time pass very quickly; many patients comment on how fast the appointment seemed for them. Most sedated individuals take a nap when they get home. When they wake up, they generally remember only a small part of the procedure.

Am I a candidate for oral sedation?

Our review of your medical history is essential. Patients with severe emphysema or sleep apnea may not be candidates for oral sedation. Extremely obese patients are also at high risk.

You may either take the medication dose an hour before your appointment (and have someone drive you), or you may drive yourself and arrive an hour prior to your appointment time and take the medication in the office. Either way, you will need someone to drive you home, and you may not drive for 24 hours.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.

Nitrous Oxide has been the the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a "hangover".
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.