Generally speaking, patients may request sedation dentistry to help relieve both physical and emotional problems. So, sedation dentistry may help people who have:
- A low pain threshold
- Trouble sitting still
- Mild apprehension
- Dental stress
- Sensitive teeth
- A terrible gag reflex
- A large amount of dental work that needs to be completed
Did you know that not all sedation is created equal? If you are worried about saying something embarrassing or not controlling your body, don’t. Our team is all ears and ready to listen to your concerns so that we can help you find a type of sedation that fits your needs.
At Live Oak Dental Group, here are the types of sedation we offer:
Commonly called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide (30%) combined with oxygen (70%) may help patients feel relaxed but still awake. Dentists classify laughing gas as minimal sedation.
Dentists administer nitrous oxide through a mask placed over the nose so that patients can breathe it in comfortably. Some patients experience a sense of euphoria or floating when under nitrous oxide.
After treatment, dentists restore equilibrium by allowing pure oxygen to flow through the mask for five minutes. One of the most significant benefits of minimal sedation (such as laughing gas) is that patients can conveniently drive independently after the procedure.
Oral sedation is the most common form of sedation in dentistry. Previously known as “conscious sedation,” dentists can prescribe minimal to moderate sedation with a pill. Typically, dentists prescribe a benzodiazepine known as Halcion (similar to Valium). Typically, patients take this medication an hour before the procedure to help patients feel relaxed but still awake.
Depending on the dosage, some side effects include:
- Temporarily slurring of words when speaking
- Drowsiness and falling asleep during the procedure
- Amnesia of the procedure
Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation
Nitrous oxide and oral sedation relax patients but still control their actions. A combination of nitrous oxide and oral sedation can cause patients to feel even more comfortable handling treatment.
On-Site IV Sedation
Ofter referred to as “sleep dentistry,” dentists administer IV (intravenous) sedation to relax patients into a state of semi-consciousness. This drug works quickly because it is carefully injected directly into the vein.
Unlike traditional anesthesia, IV sedation does not render you unconscious. While you won’t be fully aware of what’s happening, you should be able to respond to light touches and respond to verbal requests.
Precautions and Procedures
Doctors are here to help, not judge. So, we advise that our patients are always transparent with our dental team before treatment to receive the best results and reduce the risk of potentially irreversible side effects. Specifically, patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or obesity should speak to their doctor before receiving sedation because complications may occur.
Before treatment, your dentist will go over the risks of sedation and your specific procedure. It’s also important to know that our team will monitor your vital signs (consciousness, oxygen levels, ventilation, and blood circulation) during treatment and recovery. If you have issues associated with sedation, your doctor can supply an antidote and oxygen to help reverse the effects.