Many people experience dental anxiety before and during dental procedures. It’s okay to feel nervous or even fearful when anticipating an appointment. We understand that our patients aren’t all the same. We have many methods available to provide you with a relaxed, comfortable dental experience.
The most common forms of sedation used in dentistry are inhaled, oral, and intravenous sedation. While sedation dentistry makes the procedure more tolerable for you, it is important to understand that they are not painkillers, and you will still require the use of dental anesthetic.
Laughing gas is an excellent way to combat anxiety for most dental procedures. The mildest form of sedation that we use, laughing gas is inhaled through a small mask that rests over your nose. Laughing gas is odorless and is used in combination with pure oxygen to induce a feeling of relaxation and well-being during treatment. We can easily customize the level of sedation for each patient, which takes effect within minutes.
Being a mild sedative, you won’t experience any short-term memory loss as you might with other forms of sedation. At the end of treatment, the sedative effect caused by the laughing gas dissipates almost immediately when the mask is removed, and you will be able to return home with zero lasting effects. You don’t even need an escort to or from your appointment if you are using only laughing gas for sedation.
This method creates a deeper level of sedation than with laughing gas. The doctor will prescribe a medication for you to take before your appointment to reduce anxiety. A wide variety of medications are available for this type of sedation, and the doctor will carefully discuss your individual needs to determine which choice works best for you. All these medications are classified as anti-anxiety medications and achieve the same result: reducing and even eliminating the anxiety of dental treatment.
In addition to making your experience more comfortable, oral sedative medications help reduce your memory of the experience. It allows us to complete your treatment in less time and with fewer appointments. While your treatment is performed, Dr. Angie carefully monitors your vital signs to ensure that your experience is as safe as possible. Another advantage of this type of sedation is that it can safely be used along with laughing gas for an even deeper feeling of relaxation. Because the effects of oral sedation last longer than with laughing gas alone, you will need someone to bring you to your appointment and drive you home after.