Mild sedation is routinely used for patients that feel anxiety related to dental procedures such as root canals or surgery, and children who require extensive treatment. We would like to ensure that all patients feel comfortable in the chair and are not avoiding treatment because of fear or anxiety. There are different methods of obtaining a mildly sedated state and the method depends on the situation. Keep in mind that you will still be conscious when receiving sedation in our office, but you will feel relaxed during the procedure. Depending on the type of sedation that is used, you may require a ride to and from the appointment. Not all patients are eligible to receive sedation depending on their medical history and medications.
What Kinds of Sedatives Do We Have?
We offer two types of sedation in our office as a way to ensure that a high level of anxiety does not hinder anyone from receiving treatment. Whether you have a child that is highly anxious and could benefit from a small amount of laughing gas, or if you are requiring a lengthy surgical procedure, we are here to ensure that you are comfortable.
Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas”, is a mild sedative we offer at our office for patients of all ages. Laughing gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a scented mask that fits over your nose. We slowly increase the amount of gas that you receive until we reach the desired level of sedation. We do not want you to be sleeping, but experiencing a sense of comfort while we perform your treatment. You will still be awake during your appointment and be able to respond to any questions or requests we may have during your appointment. One benefit of laughing gas is that we are able to increase or decrease the level of sedation throughout the procedure based on how you are responding. Once the procedure is completed we are able to “flush” out the effects of the gas by inhaling oxygen for 5 minutes. You are able to drive yourself home after the appointment and there are very few contraindications to receiving this type of sedation.
Oral sedation refers to a prescription medication, such as Ativan, that is used to assist a patient in relaxing before a dental appointment. This type of sedation has a variable response between patients because everyone will respond differently to the same dosage. Unfortunately you are unable to increase the amount of sedation during treatment because most of these medications take an hour to take effect. You will also be awake during the procedure but less anxious than what you would normally experience. The sedation effects will last for at least a few hours, depending on the medication and your response to the medication, so you will be required to arrange for a ride home after your appointment.
Dental technology has come a long way and many procedures can be done with little to no pain or discomfort. We recognize that there are individuals that have had negative experiences during their childhood or even recently at another office. We aim to make your experience in our office as comfortable as possible. Dr. Mike and Dr. Kanda have had success in helping patients who were initially very nervous and dependent on sedation overcome their fears to a point where they no longer require sedation nor do they experience anxiety. This takes time to achieve and is done through painless freezing techniques, ensuring patient comfort through the use of the newest technology, and above all caring about the patient’s experience. We are confident that our friendly team will exceed your expectations to make you feel at ease.
It is important to understand that sedation is very effective for most patients, but if you suffer from an extremely high level of anxiety related to dental treatment that these options may not be adequate enough for you. If you have any questions about our sedation options, please contact us and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.