Dental procedures are intimidating and quite painful, which creates a lot of anxiety among patients of all ages. Sedation dentistry is an excellent approach to relieve patients from fear and pain; it makes the treatment process much more convenient for the dentist and comfortable for patients.
Here at Cedar Park Dental Wellness, we offer Nitrous Oxide, Oral Conscious Sedation, IV Sedation options. Before administering any sedation type, we follow our comprehensive sedation safety protocol of checking medical and health conditions to ensure favorable treatment outcomes and our patients' long-term health and well-being. How does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Sedative (anti-anxiety) drugs will make you feel relaxed and sometimes even a little sleepy. It works on your nervous system by slowing down your brain activity, so it is pretty much designed for you not to feel any pain or discomfort. Depending on the dosage, it usually wears out entirely within a few days, but usually, patients can get back to their life routine in a day. Read below about each sedation method that we use and what type of effects it could have on you. Laughing Gas.
Laughing gas or Nitrous Oxide (NO2) is sometimes also referred to as minimal inhaled sedation. It is one of the most used types of sedation in dentistry. In our office, we administer NO2 through disposable nasal hoods that deliver a mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygene. These nasal hoods fit comfortably over your nose and, after the procedure, get thrown away to minimize any possibility of cross-contamination. The laughing gas itself has no smell, and it is invisible, but when inhaled, it gives you a feeling of euphoria and disconnection from reality, which makes you less sensitive to pain while staying awake. Another nice thing about Nitrous Oxide is that it wears out extremely fast. Hence, most people can get back to their normal activities within minutes after the dental appointment.Critical points of Laughing Gas Sedation in Dentistry
Oral Conscious Sedation.
- [safety level bar indicator] Nitrous oxide is one of the less harmful choices for both children and adults. Like any other drug, it could cause some side effects, and most of the time, when it happens, people inhale too much of it. Still, in our dental settings, we continuously monitor patients and their gas intake to avoid adverse reactions. Some side effects may result in headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, chills, and fever.
- [easy level bar indicator] Delivering laughing gas to patients requires a particular set-up and constant monitoring that you might not even think about. Still, it takes a little extra work for a dentist and dental assistants.
- [memory level bar indicator] Because nitrous oxide is a mild sedative, you will remember everything, and short-term memory loss is not one of the advantages here. However, you can immediately get back to your everyday life, and even driving yourself home should not be a problem.
- [speed how long it takes to take effect indicator] Laughing gas works immediately by displacing oxygen in your lungs with nitrous oxide, and once the procedure is over, it also wears out in just a couple of minutes.
- [sedation level control indicator] When administering the level of your sedation by laughing gas dentist is always in control. There are two knobs, one for Oxygene and one for Nitrous oxide, and depending on how much sedation you need dentist can turn the necessary knob; of course, it is all done within the safety protocols. If the dentist observes any side effects, she can turn off the nitrous oxide supply and turn the oxygen instead, which will flush the patient's system and bring him back to the normal state.
Oral medications work great for people who afraid of dental treatments and need calming before coming to the dental office. You would need to take the prescribed pills about an hour before your appointment, and it should take care of your distress.
The most commonly used choice of drug is Halcion. It works on your central nervous system by slowing down your reflexes, and as a result, you feel relaxed, calm, and some patients might even fall asleep. Even though oral sedation effects are temporary, they last a lot longer, and you should bring a designated driver and do not get back to your normal activities at least till the next day.Critical points of Oral Sedation in Dentistry
- [safety level bar indicator] Any type of sedation is dangerous, but because you stay awake and responsive during oral sedation, it is relatively safe. All the medications that we prescribe are FDA regulated and approved for use in dental office settings.
- [easy level bar indicator] Our patients love it because it is effortless and does not involve needles. You take a pill an hour before your dental appointment, and the rest won't even hold in your memory.
- [memory level bar indicator] Even though you stay awake, you won't remember much. It's like in the movie Men in Black, you get all your bad memories erased, but instead of flashing a Neuralizer light, we use the power of modern pharmacology.
- [speed how long it takes to take effect indicator] It takes time for pills to dissolve and kick-in, and this is the exact reason you would have to plan your dental office visit more carefully and take the sedative medication an hour before the procedure.
- [sedation level control indicator] When it comes to controlling your sedation level, it is, of course, easier to do with IV or NO2 Sedation because your doctor can control how much medicine gets into your blood or how much gas you inhale. It is less predictable with oral sedation since it is administered through pills because it depends more on your digestion system, which takes longer. So if the first dose does not make you sedated enough, the whole procedure might take even longer.
- [ease of preparation level] You must bring a designated driver to your appointment because oral sedation takes much longer to clear from your system.
Thanks to oral sedation, you can take a pill while still at home, and by the time you get into a dental chair, all your anxiety and fear will disappear. It helps with complicated surgical procedures and root canal treatments. In some extreme cases, patients need it for regular fillings and even hygiene cleanings. Conscious IV Sedation.
Intravenous sedation, commonly known as IV sedation, is administered by supplying anti-anxiety medicine right into your bloodstream through a skinny needle placed into your arm's vein. Unlike general anesthesia, you stay awake throughout the procedure but feel no pain or anxiety. You become worry-free and relaxed, and all the negative emotions associated with dental procedures will disappear. Some drowsiness may occur, but you should still be able to talk and respond to your dentist and staff members. You must bring a competent adult to take you back home because IV sedation takes up to 48 hours to exit your system. A more considerable amount of patients can return to their standard daily routine the following day.Critical points of IV Sedation
- [safety level bar indicator] Conscious IV Sedation is not the same as General Anesthesia when you become entirely unconscious. You may fall asleep during the IV Sedation, but it is easy to wake you up, and patients usually responsive. Like any other type of sedation, IV sedation relaxes your body, which causes the risk of depressing your respiratory system. Your body and oxygen level always monitored during the administration of the sedative medications.
- [easy level bar indicator] Setting up for IV sedation requires some serious pre-operative preparation both from the patient and the dental staff. The intravenous tube connects directly into your vein, and medication incrementally enters your bloodstream until the desired effect is reached. Your heartbeat and breathing will need to be monitored until you are ready to be discharged, requiring all the necessary equipment to be in the treatment room before we start the sedation. Also, we need to have all the required emergency equipment available for immediate use, such as a defibrillator, positive pressure oxygen delivery system, and emergency medications.
- [memory level bar indicator] You most likely will not remember much of what happened during your dental appointment. So there is no extra reinforcement of any negative feelings, which is especially important for those who experience terror by the pure thought of going to a dentist.
- [speed how long it takes to take effect indicator] It takes very little time for the sedative to work because it goes directly into your bloodstream.
- [sedation level control indicator] One of the main goals of any sedation is to give you the minimum amount of sedatives to achieve the desired result. It is easy to control the anti-anxiety medication flow, so you only get as much or as little as your body needs within the safety protocols.
- [ease of preparation level] Another inconvenience of IV Sedation is the necessity of having someone drive you back home from the dental appointment. Remember, it takes 24-48 hours for the meds to clear from your system, so please ensure that you have a reliable grown-up to care for you after the visit.
While the Conscious IV Sedation does a great job managing the pain and keeping you comfortable throughout the dental procedure, it is essential to know if this is the right option. To schedule a consultation with your Cedar Park Dentist, please contact us here or call us at 512-640-8240.