By: JT Anand, Dental Assistant
Sedation dentistry allows properly trained dentists to create a safe and comfortable dental experience for patients who have avoided the dentist out of fear and/or anxiety. The most important factor in deciding whether sedation dentistry is right for you is to determine if you are a candidate for sedation. After filling out a detailed medical history sheet, your qualified dentist will be able to determine if sedation is a safe option for you. After that, the rest is personal preference! Many patients that consider sedation dentistry begin by asking themselves the following questions:
- Am I comfortable in the dental chair?
- Do I have a fear of the dentist?
- Have I had a bad experience that makes dental visits unbearable?
- Do I hate the smell and noises at the dentist?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, sedation dentistry may be the perfect option for you! Patient comfort is our number one priority for us here at Cascades Center for Dental Health, and to accommodate all comfort levels, we offer three sedation options. Here is a brief summary of each:
- Nitrous Oxide – Also referred to as “laughing gas”, this is the mildest form of sedation. Nitrous oxide works very rapidly, and reaches the brain within 20 seconds. Afterwards, relaxation and pain-killing properties develop after 2 or 3 minutes. There is no “hangover” effect because the gas is eliminated from the body within 3 to 5 minutes after the gas supply is stopped. You can safely drive home yourself, making this a perfect option for patients with limited driver availability. Additionally, inhalation sedation is very safe with no ill effects on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain
- Conscious Sedation- This is a pill form of moderate sedation where you will be able to comply with simple instructions, but your memory of the appointment will be minimal. You are actually conscious throughout the procedure, but comfortable and relaxed, with an hour passing as if it were a minute. Throughout your entire visit, we monitor your pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels to ensure your safety. For this type of sedation, you will need transportation to and from the practice, as well as supervision once you arrive home.
- General Anesthesia – This is complete sedation accompanied by a licensed anesthesiologist. During this type of sedation, there is no recollection of the appointment and you are 100% asleep. Before your appointment, the nurse anesthetist will go over you medical history very thoroughly to ensure the best and safest dental experience possible. As with conscious sedation, you will need a responsible friend or family member to provide transportation.
If sedation dentistry is something you are interested in, we would be more than happy to help you make a decision on which route to take. Give us a call today!