Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the severity of the fear.
In our office, we offer two types for those patients who suffer from severe dental anxiety. Inhaled Nitrous Oxide otherwise known as “Laughing Gas” which is combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax and your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly once the procedure is complete. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home.
Oral sedation depending on the total dose given can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation a pill is usually take about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. Some people become groggy enough from moderate sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
For more information on sedation dentistry please ask our doctors at your next office visit.