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Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation medications during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or anxiety, or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.
Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, require a major dental treatment, are physically handicapped or have strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require some sort of sedation.
Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, Trophy Club sedation dentist David Crumpton, DDS, will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. We will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.
Oral, or pill sedation, is often used for patients that require a deeper level of sedation than is achieved with nitrous oxide. The pill is administered to the patient approximately 45 minutes prior to any dental work being started. Patients are still conscious but will feel very sleepy and may close their eyes during their dental treatment.
IV sedation is recommended for patients with an extreme fear of the dentist. The medication is administered by an anesthesiologist that monitors a patient’s vital signs during the entire dental procedure. With IV sedation, the patient will fall asleep and be unconscious during the dental procedure. It is not recommended patients drive following any dental worked completed using IV sedation.
If you have been putting off going to the dentist because of your dental anxiety or phobia, contact Trophy Club sedation dentist David Crumpton, DDS, today. We will schedule a consultation to explain all of the different sedation methods and determine the best option for you.