The three major types of sedation dentistry we provide at Harvest Dental listed and described below:
- Nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas) or inhalation sedation
- Oral conscious sedation (pill)
- Conscious intravenous sedation (I.V.)
NITRIOUS OXIDE SEDATION (LAUGHING GAS):
WHAT IS NITROUS OXIDE?
Nitrous oxide is a popular anesthetic agent used by dentists. Its safety has been well-established; it is effective, and the anesthetic effect wears off quickly so there is no extended recovery time. It can be used for both children and adults. In fact, 85% of pediatric dentists use it, according to the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Nitrous oxide has a very calming effect, even though the patient remains in conscious. Some dental experts have called it the “ideal anesthetic” because it takes effect quickly (in less than 5 minutes) and because there is a very rapid recovery time (about 5 to 10 minutes). Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen so that you will have an ample supply of oxygen at the same time. In addition to the sedative effect of nitrous oxide, the gas helps control the discomfort associated with some procedures. The level of sedation can be easily adjusted for the best possible effect for each individual patient.
ORAL CONSCIOUS SEDATION:
WHAT IS ORAL CONSCIOUS SEDATION?
Dental oral conscious sedation is a procedure involving the oral administration of sedatives to facilitate a dental procedure, and reduce patient’s fear and anxiety related to the experience.
WHY IS IT USED?
People choose oral sedation for different reasons. One of the most common reasons is fear or anxiety. Many people avoid going to the dentist because of their fears. Some have never been, and some may have had horrible experiences as a child or adult. That fear is very difficult to overcome. For some people, oral sedation, may be the only way they will be able to get through a visit to the dentist.
Other patients are not necessarily afraid of the dentist, but they may have other needs. In an average dental setting, 5-10 appointments may be needed to complete their treatment. It could take months, even years, to complete everything. Since many people are very busy with work and family obligations, it is difficult to arrange multiple appointments. With sedation, treatment can usually be completed in one to two visits.
CONSCIOUS INTRAVENOUS SEDATION (I.V.):
WHAT IS CONSCIOUS INTRAVENUS SEDATION?
Intravenous Conscious Sedation (I.V. conscious sedation) is when a drug, usually an anti-anxiety medication, is administered directly into the blood system during a dental treatment.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE? WILL I BE ASLEEP?
Many dental offices and practices use terms such as “sleep dentistry” or “twilight sleep” when talking about I.V. conscious sedation. This is confusing, because it suggests that I.V. sedation involves being put to sleep. These terms are more descriptive of a deep sedation called general anesthesia. Conscious I.V. sedation is commonly used in a dental office environment while general anesthesia is reserved for a hospital setting.
In reality, you will remain conscious during conscious I.V. sedation. Although you can achieve a deeper state of sedation then with nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, you will still be able to understand and respond to your dentist.
However, you may not remember much or anything at all about what went on for two reasons:
- I.V sedation induces a state of deep relaxation and you may not be concerned with what is going on around you.
- The drugs used for I.V. sedation produce either partial or full memory loss for the period of time from when the drug takes effect in until it wears off. As a result, time will appear to pass very quickly, and you may not recall much of what happened. Many people remember nothing at all. So it may, indeed, appear as if you were “asleep” during the procedure.
If a patient is serious about wanting conscious I.V. sedation, we will coordinate your treatment with a qualified anesthesiologist.