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Sedation Dentistry

For Anxious Patients...


Our Office is happy to offer different types of sedation for those patients who feel their dental treatment would be more comfortable. We know that a significant number of people do not visit the dentist for regular checkups and treatment because they suffer from dental anxiety.

Nitrous Oxide:
We offer Nitrous Oxide (aka Laughing Gas) which is inhaled along with oxygen via a nose cone before and during treatment. This is a great way to alleviate anxiety and is reversible immediately following treatment so that the patient may carry on with their day normally. It generally induces a feeling of warmth and mild euphoria, allowing the time to pass quickly and with little discomfort or anxiety. It also works wonderfully well with small children, as often the dentist can do restorative work without the need for anesthetic leaving the child with a great memory of their dental visit.


Oral Conscious Sedation:
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles and to provide a safe, anxiety-free dental experience. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the discomfort, smells or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required. Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, oral sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but  oral conscious sedation only works to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit. Oral sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety and no discomfort. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative. Whatever the form of oral sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver. Sometimes sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.
 
 
 
Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:
  • Anxiety is alleviated
  • Few side effects
  • More can be accomplished during each visit
  • No needles
  • No discomfort
  • Safe and effective
  • Procedure time seem to go quickly
           
     
    What types of drugs are used in oral conscious sedation?

    Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia and seizures. Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time. The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.

     

     Here are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:

    Valium® – This sedative has amnesic properties and a long half-life. It is usually used for time-consuming, complex procedures.

    Halcion® – Usually used to treat insomnia, Halcion is an effective sedative with amnesic properties. A short half-life makes this sedative useful for shorter procedures.

    Ativan® – This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety. It has amnesic properties and a medium half-life. Ativan is typically used for treatments shorter than two hours.

    If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please talk to one of our dentists.