Sedation Options

WHAT IS SEDATION?

What are your dental sedation options?

Nitrous Oxide: Sedation for Light Dental Treatment

Type: Gas

Description: Nitrous Oxide is the oldest dental sedative technique, dating back to the 1860’s. Effectiveness and safety have been proven time and time again. It is a gas that is breathed through a nose piece. The nitrous oxide is carefully mixed with oxygen by a special dispenser designed for dental sedation. A common name for nitrous oxide is “laughing gas”; however, when carefully administered in a dental setting, there is not onset of laughter. This is the ideal sedation for short dental treatments.

Benefits:

  • A sense of relaxation is produced
  • Light pain relief is produced along with sedation
  • Patient is able to drive home after the appointment by themselves
  • Dentist is able to control the rate of sedation to accurately produce the desired sedative effect
  • Least expensive form of dental sedation
  • Effects gone when turned off

Oral Sedation: Sedation for Light/Moderate Dental Treatment

Type: Oral

Description: Oral sedation is one of the newest methods of anxiety control in dentistry. Recent developments in pharmacology have given dentists oral drugs that produce a profound state of relaxation with a high degree of safety not possible just 10 years ago. A single dose is taken prior to the start of dental treatment. This sedation technique is very well received by patients. The level of sedation is unique to the individual, and may not be completely predictable.

Benefits:

  • Produces a very relaxed state
  • More sedation produced as compared to Nitrous Oxide
  • About 50% of patients have no memory of the dental procedures performed
  • A cost effective form of dental sedation
  • Patients are monitored
  • Requires a driver/chaperone

Intravenous Sedation: Sedation for Moderate/Extensive Dental Treatment

Type: Liquid Injectable

Description: Intravenous sedation is the most advanced sedative technique for the comprehensive control of pain and anxiety in dentistry. It dates back to the early 1960’s with use at the Loma Linda University – School of Dentistry. In this technique, a needle is placed into a vein, and then an IV line is attached. The drugs that produce the sedative effects are placed into the IV line. Less than 2% of general dentists have the special permit issued by the Board of Dental Examiners to perform this advanced sedation technique.

Benefits:

  • Produces a profound state of relaxation
  • Dentist is able to carefully control the amount of sedation desired
  • In most cases, amnesia is produced and patients do not remember the procedures performed
  • Superior pain control
  • Patients are monitored and emergency medications are on hand
  • Most effective delivery for sedations
  • Requires a driver/chaperone