We want our patients to be comfortable! So, we offer several different sedation options. Everything from the light, floaty feeling of laughing gas to being completely asleep and multiple options in between. Feel free to read more details below or contact us today to make an appointment and discuss your options in person. We would love to answer your questions and help you find the right option for you.
“Laughing gas”, or nitrous oxide, is inhaled through the nose and is used as a mild sedative. We want you to be comfortable with every visit so there is never a charge for the use of Nitrous Oxide during your appointment. It can be used throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide promotes general sense of well-being and generally elevates the mood. Most importantly, it lowers anxiety, and, while it does not replace the need for numbing, it does reduce pain during the procedure. In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt throughout the body. There are a few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, but they are generally mild and short lasting. It has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Valium (also called Diazepam) is a pill that is taken orally. It is used to reduce anxiety and at higher doses is used as a sedative. While it does not cause sleep, it does dull the senses and can alter the perception of time, often causing patients to feel that procedures take less time than they actually do. Valium is often used in conjunction with laughing gas to reduce anxiety levels and cause the patient to be relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. When using this technique, we require that you have a driver to transport you to and from your appointment.
“IV”, or Intravenous, sedation is a type of moderate sedation. Having an IV in place allows a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist(CRNA) to administer sedation medications directly into the bloodstream. This allows the effects of the medications to be immediate and the CRNA can alter the level of sedation as needed throughout the procedure. During the entire procedure, the CRNA monitors your vital signs. The CRNA makes any necessary adjustments to the medications you are receiving to make sure you are comfortably sedated and completely safe during the entire procedure. Having a CRNA 100% focused on your sedation allows the dentist to focus completely on your dental procedure without having to try to multitask and monitor your vital signs at the same time.
After IV sedation, patients generally report feeling as though they slept through the entire procedure and generally have no memory of it. Immediately following the procedure there is generally a sense of grogginess, sleepiness, and sometimes confusion (we’ve all seen the YouTube videos of patients after they have had their wisdom teeth removed). Consequently, we require that you have a driver transport you home after your IV sedation appointment.
We also work with patients under a deeper form of anesthesia known as general anesthesia. This done in a fully equipped OR in a hospital setting. See our page on “Hospital Sedation” for more information.
Some reasons people prefer some form of sedation are: