Conscious Sedation Dentistry Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide is a gas that is generally used to help you feel more relaxed during a dental procedure. It is inhaled through a small rubber nose piece placed over your nose. The effects of it wear off within minutes after use. It is best used for patients with mild anxiety in the dental office or for short, uncomplicated dental treatments.
Anxiety and nervousness is quite common for many patients when visiting the dentist. We strive to help our patients feel comfortable during each visit by offering comfort dentistry services such as Sedation and Nitrous Oxide.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is accomplished with a pill and must be taken on an empty stomach. While you’ll still be awake during this level of sedation you’ll feel very relaxed, kind of sleepy, and be less aware of what is going on in the dentist’s office. It offers a deeper level of relaxation then nitrous oxide. Because people react differently to medications, however, the level of sedation is harder to control. Also, the effects of the pill do not take effect immediately, so adjusting the level of sedation quickly during a procedure is difficult. Oral conscious sedation is best used with patients who have mild fear about dental appointments, have a mild gag reflex and when procedures are fairly short in duration.
IV (Intravenous, or in the vein) moderate sedation
You receive the sedative drug through a vein. This is often referred to as sleep dentistry. This is a common misnomer, as sleep dentistry brings to mind thoughts of being put to sleep. In fact, this is not the case. You will remain conscious during IV sedation. You will be able to understand and respond to any requests from your dentist.
Advantages of IV sedation:
- The patient does not lose consciousness, but enters a dream-like state
- Provides stronger and more adjustable results than oral sedation.
- Suitable for patients with moderate to severe anxiety
- Takes effect almost instantly (unlike oral sedation)
- Most people have little to no memory of the appointment
- Sedation level can remain consistent during lengthy appointments
- The level of sedation can be adjusted at any time to help the patient maintain optimal comfort
- Other medications for pain & post-operative swelling can be administered at the same time
- Perfect for patients with a sensitive gag reflex or having nausea from smells and tastes associated with dental work
- A well-controlled environment in which all of the vital signs are closely monitored