Sedation dentistry is basically oral conscious sedation. It defers from what people usually associate sedation with which is general anesthesia, which is usually done in a hospital setting. What we do is conscious sedation, in which the patient is conscious of what is going on around him, and it is done in-office. An oral sedative medicine is dispensed to the patient. For adults, it is in the form of a pill, and for children, it is in liquid form. Once the patient is a little relaxed, it takes off the edge. It makes patients feel a little more relaxed, similar to having had two glasses of wine (for pediatric sedation, it is the equivalent to two tablespoons of Benadryl) and can help take the edge off.
For 45 minutes to an hour, we can work uninterrupted. The best part about sedation dentistry is that the patient has no memory of the procedure. For patients who are apprehensive or have any phobias, they lose that apprehension once they are under the influence of the medication. Most of the time, they are able to go through the procedure and only have positive recollections about visiting the office, which makes it easier for patients to return to the dentist without these negative connotations with the dentist chair.
Sedation with nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, decreases anxiety and promotes relaxation while you remain conscious. Nitrous oxide and oxygen are mixed together and then inhaled through a mask that covers the nose and mouth prior to having a dental procedure performed to produce sensations of lightheadedness, relaxation, and a comfortable, warm-all-over feeling. Safe, effective, and non-invasive, nitrous oxide is the sedation method of choice for anxious or fearful patients.
Intravenous sedation alleviates pain and ensures your maximum comfort during a planned dental procedure. Although you will remain conscious following I.V. sedation, you will experience a complete state of relaxation and will not feel pain. You will be carefully monitored throughout the procedure to ensure your safety. I.V. sedation is a good choice for patients who wish to overcome their anxiety and fear of visiting the dentist for treatment.