Dental sedation is used for patients for many reasons. Some people have a strong gag reflex or a dental phobia due to a bad experience. Some patients cannot handle pain well, or may be undergoing major dental work. Patients that have physical or mental disabilities can greatly benefit from being sedated during dental procedures. Sedation dentistry is a valuable technique that allows patients that normally would avoid treatment to follow through. Before using sedation, the dentist will explain how it works and what you can expect.
Sedation With Laughing Gas or Nitrous Oxide
As a conscious sedation option, nitrous oxide, more commonly referred to as laughing gas, is frequently used in dental procedures. The oxygen-infused gas has a calming effect that helps patients feel relaxed during dental treatments, especially when anxious.Duration
While being closely monitored, nitrogen gas flows in conjunction with oxygen via a nasal mask throughout the entire procedure. When the procedure is near completion, the nitrogen gas is turned off and only oxygen is administered to help flush out any remaining gas. The effects of nitrous oxide disappear almost immediately since it is a mild sedative and patients can carry on as usual throughout the rest of their day.Side Effects
You may experience minor nausea or constipation symptoms after being sedated with nitrous oxide. The dentist will provide full pre- and post-sedation instructions to ensure your wellbeing.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Patients aren't put to sleep by oral sedation, but it helps them relax and remain calm during treatment. Anxious patients, those with agoraphobia, fear of needles and sharp instruments, and those with prior dental trauma can take oral medication to reduce their anxiety. Usually, the dentist will add a little nitrous oxide to enhance the effects of the oral medication. The patient, in most cases, doesn’t remember much, but is conscious enough to respond to commands.Duration
An oral sedative is taken by mouth in most cases, one hour before the patient arrives for the appointment, as it takes up to 20 minutes for the medicine to take effect. The patient is always required to have an escort to and from the appointment.Side Effects
After oral sedation, you may experience minimal side effects. However, in rare instances, you may experience drowsiness, headaches, and confusion, or not remember the dental procedure all together.
IV Conscious Sedation
Intravenous sedation, commonly known as twilight sleep, is administered via an IV and does not entirely put you to sleep; however, it makes you less aware of your surroundings. Most patients who are nervous about dental visits choose this option because it works quickly and, in most cases, completely prevents them from feeling uncomfortable or remembering the procedure.
The patient is always required to have an escort to and from the appointment. An oral sedative is usually taken the night before so the patient can have a good night’s sleep, and once more, one hour before the patient arrives for the appointment, as it is ideal for the patient to be relaxed during the IV insertion procedure. Once the IV takes effect most patients have no memory of the procedure, but can easily take commands while under.
After IV sedation, you should experience minimal side effects. However, in rare instances, you may experience drowsiness, headaches, and confusion. Patients that opt for IV sedation should have someone that can stay with them for the following 12-24hrs after treatment. Light duty along with plenty of rest will restore you back to your normal routine.
With over 30 years of experience offering exceptional dental services to our community, at Cheyenne Mountain Dental Group, we are still continuing our journey, under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Davis along with Dr. Bill Bertsch. For more details and appointments, call us at (719) 576-3276, book online, or visit us directly at 3605 Star Ranch Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.