We understand that there are some people who have deep seated, long term fears that keep them from receiving the dental care they need. We are very sympathetic to those fears and offer many techniques to make dentistry more pleasant.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
A patient can be mildly relaxed and sedated by gently inhaling a mixture of nitrous oxide and pure oxygen. Patients are aware of their surroundings but feel less anxious. Nitrous oxide can be used in combination with music headphones to enhance the experience. The relaxed feeling is quickly reversed at the end of the procedure by breathing pure oxygen. Our patients leave the office in a normal state. We find that this process works well with children also.
Oral sedation is induced by taking small pills of a sedative drug. In approximately 20 minutes, relaxation begins and patients feel deeply relaxed but are still conscious and responsive. Patients may go to sleep and generally have little memory of the experience. They are monitored to insure proper breathing and adequate oxygenation of the blood. Patients must be escorted by a caregiver and cannot drive for several hours or the rest of the day.
IV or Intravenous Sedation
IV sedation is a very controlled sedation done by an intravenous drip in the arm of a sedative drug. This is the most controllable technique as it can quickly and easily be adjusted to the patient’s body type, tolerance levels and depth of sedation desired. This technique produces the deepest sedation and relaxation. Although patients are responsive, they have very little, if any, memory of the experience. Although the procedure and drugs are very safe, patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, breathing and heart electrical activity (EKG) are monitored as part of our safe standard of care. Patients quickly recover and walk out of the office with very little awareness of the time spent in the procedure. Patients are restricted to limited activities and may not drive for the rest of the day.