Sedation Dentistry

sedation

We understand that the thought of dental treatment can bring on a lot of anxiety for some of our patients.

Poor past experiences, difficulty sitting or having their mouth open for a long time… having mild sedation may be all that is needed to make getting dental care more comfortable.

In our office we provide nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas). Nitrous oxide sedation is very safe and most of it leaves your system within minutes of stopping the sedation. It is sometimes referred to as “laughing gas” because it can make some people feel giggly… very relaxed, less worried. You are still awake during the procedure, though if you are tired, the sedation may make you relaxed enough that you may take a snooze. Unlike general anesthesia, where you are put to sleep and you do not control your own breathing (it is controlled for you), with nitrous oxide sedation you breathe on your own.

During your appointment with nitrous oxide sedation, you will be monitored closely by your dentist to make sure you reach an appropriate level of sedation. We ask that you do not eat anything for at least 4 hours prior to your dental appointment. If you do eat, please let your dentist know as there is a risk of vomiting. Since most of this gas leaves your system within minutes, you are fine to come to the appointment on your own, and yes, you can drive afterwards.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation:

  • it works very fast – it reaches the brain within 20 seconds; within a few minutes it reaches high enough levels to cause relaxation
  • your dentist can alter the level of sedation moment to moment by assessing your responses; in other forms of sedation, it is easy to make sedation deeper but very difficult to lessen it quickly
  • you don’t get a “hang over effect” because the gas leaves your system within minutes; this means it is safe for you to drive home right after your appointment and you can come to the office on your own
  • your dentist gives you just the right amount of sedation for you since changing the flow rate and concentration of the gas quickly leads to changes in your level of sedation; this prevents the possibility of accidental overdoses
  • it can decrease or eliminate the gag reflex
  • it is very safe: it has very few side effects, and has no harmful effects on important organs like your brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys

Nitrous oxide sedation is the safest form of sedation available. Let us know if you think this might be useful for you.

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