Sedation dentistry can help reduce anxiety and/or discomfort associated with dental treatment and help increase cooperation. It can be a good option for patients that are younger or have anxiety or special needs. There are different forms of sedation, including nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” and conscious sedation. We work with each patient to provide a treatment plan that best fits his or her needs.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous Oxide is a commonly used, safe, and effective conscious sedation technique used to help patients feel relaxed and relieve dental anxiety. It is well tolerated by most patients, is quick acting, painless to deliver, and can be adjusted in various concentrations.
Nitrous Oxide is combined with oxygen and is administered through a small mask before the dental procedure begins. The patient will continue to breathe on their own and be fully responsive throughout the procedure. Many patients grow drowsy and may even lightly doze. Some patients experience a tingling or heavy feeling in their arms and legs. Patients do not have to fast before they receive nitrous.
After the procedure is finished, the Nitrous Oxide is turned off and regular oxygen is delivered through the mask for several minutes. The effects of Nitrous Oxide wear off in a matter of minutes and children are able to get back to their normal routine.They can eat and drink as normal before their appointment.
Conscious Oral Sedation
Conscious oral sedation is completed in the dental office. Patients should remain awake and responsive, but normally feel relaxed and drowsy. Various medications can be used to sedate. Medicines will be selected based upon the patient’s overall health, level of anxiety, and dental recommendations. Once the medication has been given, depending on the type of medication, it may take over an hour before the patient shows signs of sedation and is ready for treatment.
Prior to the patient’s sedation visit, s/he cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment. After the visit, the patient cannot go to school or daycare, but will need to go home and be supervised for the remainder of the day with restricted activities.
Outpatient General Anesthesia
Hospital dentistry allows us to provide comprehensive dental care on patients with medical conditions, emotion or developmental limitations, special needs, high anxiety, and/or long treatment plans. Dental treatment is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or outpatient facility. The patient will be unconscious during the procedure and will be monitored by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. Once the procedure is complete and the patient has regained consciousness and recovered, they will be released to go home.
Patients cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the appointment. After the visit, the patient will need to go home and be closely supervised for the remainder of the day. They cannot go to school or daycare.