Sedation dentistry is used to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for patients receiving dental treatment. Sedation is a process used to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of sedatives. One of the major benefits of sedation dentistry is that people often feel like their dental procedure lasts only a few minutes, when in fact it might have taken hours to perform. Therefore, complex dental procedures such as smile makeovers or extensive rebuilding procedures that normally require multiple visits can often be performed in fewer appointments.
If you are reluctant to change the appearance of your smile because you are afraid or anxious about undergoing long or complicated dental procedures, sedation dentistry can make you feel comfortable during the treatment process and help you achieve a smile you can be proud of.
The term sleep dentistry is sometimes used to describe sedation dentistry, but this term is misleading. In actual fact, you do not sleep during the procedure, but because of the effects produced by the sedation medicine, you may feel sleepy.
Sedation can be achieved in a variety of ways:
- Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) – Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option we offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions. You will breath normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.
- Oral Sedation – Oral sedation allows us to create a safe and comfortable dental experience for patients who have avoided the dentist out of fear or who might have time restrictions. Sedative medicine are given to patient by mouth in liquid or pill form. Most people feel calmer and more relaxed after taking sedative medication. With oral sedation our Dr. Kumar can often perform a multiple procedures in a single appointment, without sacrificing either patient safety or clinical quality. Many people with hectic schedules find it very beneficial to receive necessary treatments in as little as one dental visit instead of multiple trips to the dentist.
- IV Sedation – IV sedation involves a trained anesthesiologist who comes to the office to sedate you. This method allows us unprecedented control over relaxation levels, so we can tailor the sedation to your specific needs. Depending on the amount of sedative you receive, you will feel extremely relaxed, drowsy, or you may fall asleep completely. Typically, patients remain conscious and can respond to questions but do not experience extreme nervousness or discomfort, remembering little about the appointment afterwards.