A significant number of people do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.
Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but nitrous oxide works to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” as it’s often known, is safe for use during dental treatment when mixed with oxygen. Nitrous oxide and oxygen, when breathed in via a mask, eases anxiety and produces a pleasurable feeling. It works very rapidly reaching the brain within 20 seconds, and relaxation and pain-killing properties develop after 2 or 3 minutes.
The depth of sedation can be altered from moment to moment, allowing the person who administers the gas to increase or decrease the depth of sedation. With laughing gas, the effects are almost instant. The laughing gas can be switched off when not needed and then switched on. There’s no “hangover” effect and the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. You can safely drive home and don’t need an escort.
Inhalation sedation is very safe. It has very few side effects and the drugs used have no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. Inhalation sedation has also been found to be very effective in eliminating or at least minimizing severe gagging.
Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:
- Anxiety is alleviated.
- Few side effects.
- More can be accomplished during each visit.
- No needles.
- No pain.
- Perfectly safe.
- Procedures seem to take less time.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is a technique used in our dental office to help patients relax and remain calm during many dental procedures. It involves the administration of sedative medications directly into a vein, which induces a state of deep relaxation and sometimes even sleep. Here is some information for patients regarding intravenous sedation in a dental office:
1. Purpose of IV Sedation: The primary goal of IV sedation is to alleviate anxiety and fear associated with dental procedures. It helps patients feel more comfortable during their treatment and allows us to perform the necessary procedures efficiently.
2. Administering IV Sedation: IV sedation is administered by our highly qualified dentist and nurse who have dedicated extra training in sedation dentistry.
3. Safety: IV sedation is a safe form of sedation especially when administered by our highly trained team and within our controlled environment. Prior to the procedure, we will review your medical history, including any medications you’re taking, to ensure there are no contraindications. During the procedure, your vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, will be closely monitored.
4. Effects: Patients feel deeply relaxed, may fall asleep, and have little memory of the procedure due to the sedatives used.
Remember, IV sedation can greatly reduce anxiety and discomfort during dental procedures, making it easier for you to receive the dental care you need. We can provide IV sedation for a variety of treatments and sometimes allows us to complete all of your treatment in a single visit.
If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please contact our office.