Sedation is a way to help patients deal with their anxiety of dental treatment. There are three basic forms of sedation: nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas), oral sedation, and IV sedation.
Nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled while dental procedures are being performed. It helps to relax patients and sometimes gives a feeling of euphoria. At the conclusion of the dental procedure, the patient is given pure oxygen to inhale which eliminates the effects of the nitrous oxide within minutes.
Oral sedation involves taking a pill or pills about an hour before dental treatment. The drugs used most commonly are benzodinzepines like Valium, Xanax, or Halcion. These drugs have a sedative effect as well as an anti-anxiety effect. They help relieve anxiety and make the patient feel calm. They also induce drowsiness and in some patients it may cause them to sleep through dental procedures. In many patients, it also causes amnesia and they have no recollection of their time at the dental office.
During IV sedation, the patient is given medication through an IV. An anesthesiologist or surgeon administers the medication and monitors the patient throughout the procedure. Most patients experience amnesia caused by the drugs and have no memory of the dental procedures. Since IV drugs can be reversed, a slightly deeper level of sedation can be achieved than can be accomplished with oral sedation.
With both oral and IV sedation, the patient cannot eat or drink past midnight the night before the procedure. Also, the patient must have another person drive them to and from the dental office.
Contact our Dickey Family Dentistry in Allen, Texas today to schedule your appointment or with your dental questions at 972.747.777.