Choose Sedation Dentistry for Comfort
We are happy to provide you with dental sedation. We understand that you may have reasons for having fears about dental treatment. Perhaps you have had a bad experience in the past or suffer from an anxiety disorder.
You may feel anxious about having your teeth examined and uncomfortable about the physical closeness that’s a part of having a dentist or hygienist work on your teeth. Dental sedation can help you get through many dental procedures including tooth extractions, root canal therapy and inserting dental implants.
Some of the main reasons patients consider sedation dentistry are:
- General anxiety disorder
- Phobia about dental procedures
- Bad past experiences
- Very sensitive oral nerves
- A fear of local anesthetic
- A strong gag reflex
- A very small mouth
Sedation is a cost-effective alternative to general anesthetic in many cases and we can use it safely in our rooms to reduce anxiety when we perform certain procedures. Not only does sedation minimize anxiety, but you can be back on your feet sooner than when undergoing a general anesthetic because the side effects you experience are minimal.
What Do We Use for Dental Sedation?
We use nitrous oxide which is a safe, odorless gas to help you relax and keep you calm. Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has been used by dentists for many years and is still most frequently used today in sedation. It provides one of the safest and most effective ways to get through certain dental procedures.
When we use nitrous oxide to sedate you, all your bodily functions stay normal and you are able to breathe on your own. You remain awake while receiving it and we incrementally increase your dosage until you begin to feel the full effects. When you start to experience a feeling of wellbeing and euphoria, this is a good level at which to start dental treatment.
The advantages of using nitrous oxide are that it’s fast-acting and tolerated well by most patients. After taking it, you are still responsive to questions from your dentist and engaged with your care. Although you are aware of your surroundings, you are less responsive to external stimuli such as the sound of the drill or the smell of the materials. Its effects also wear off quickly after it’s administered.
How Do We Administer the Gas?
We administer the nitrous oxide via a small mask that fits over your nose and you inhale the gas while sitting back comfortably in the dental chair. We check with you frequently to see how you feel. The dosage varies from person to person, with some being more sensitive to it than others.
Some people start feeling as though their limbs are becoming heavier while others feel they are becoming lighter. Some patients feel a bit lightheaded and warm all over. Others experience a numb sensation inside the mouth. If you become anxious or uncomfortable, we can turn off the gas safely at any time.
After receiving nitrous oxide, we will give you a few minutes of oxygen, and then we will remove the mask. After the infusion of the drug has stopped, you will quickly recover.
In a small percentage of patients, adverse reactions can occur, such as headaches, nausea or vomiting. When nitrous oxide is administered properly, it’s very safe and has few side effects. We learn how to administer nitrous oxide correctly is a part of our dentistry training.
Many patients are perfectly happy with a local anesthetic, and some procedures don’t need anesthesia at all. But when anxiety and other issues can get in the way of you receiving the dental care you need, sedation with nitrous oxide is an important option.
Its effects have been extensively studied and if your dentist suggests sedation for you, you should have no cause for concern. In many cases, sedation actually increases your safety as you need to be still for the process to be effective. For example, sedation may help when a child is unable to remain still in the chair or a special needs patient is extremely anxious.