Pain is perceived uniquely. And each person’s pain threshold is different. Thanks to continual advancement in pain management through sedation, your experience with us will focus on making sure your treatment process is easy, comfortable and safe.
Sedation can be administered two ways, via inhalation or intravenously, to achieve progressively deeper states of relaxation:
- Minimal sedation, administered by inhaling nitrous oxide – you are awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation, administered through nitrous oxide or intravenously – you are in an extreme state of relaxation, can respond to conversation, but will ‘awaken’ with no memory of the procedure.
Typically, you'll still need a local anesthetic – numbing medication at the area in the mouth where treatment will be done to relieve any discomfort or pain -- that will be administered once you have started sedation. With all procedures, you can trust that our staff is highly trained and you are being monitored closely.
If you’d like more information about the types of sedation that can help you better manage the process, call us with your specific questions – or keep reading below.
It’s called ‘laughing gas’ for a reason. To help you relax, you simply breathe normally through a small mask that’s placed over your nose and inhale the gas (a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide). You can control the amount of sedation you receive by your own breathing – the more deeply you breathe, the more you feel the effects. And the effects are quick and pleasurable. You should feel a euphoric feeling spread throughout your body. Maybe you’ll be a bit lightheaded, slightly numb, warm and tingly. Happy. And some people get the ‘giggles.’ In the early 1700s and 1800s, nitrous oxide was used at parties for entertainment and enjoyment. (Not to worry, we make sure you don’t laugh yourself silly.)
The gas usually wears off quickly. You can even drive yourself home because there are no long-lasting effects. Talk to us about coming in for a short sampling of the gas before any scheduled appointments. We’re happy to make you happy.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
For those who don’t want any recollection of the procedure they just had, this is the route for them. In this case, you do need to bring along a responsible adult who will commit to staying with you the entire time, from dentist visit to the rest of the day.
This sedation induces an amnesia-like state where time seems to pass so quickly, you’re unaware and unbothered by events, that afterwards, you don’t even recall what happened. However, during the process, you are conscious and able to respond to conversation.
You might feel a ‘pinch’ where the IV is inserted. After a few moments, you’ll probably be light-headed. But nothing unpleasant. Then, it’s blissful nothingness. Your senses won’t be distracted by typical dentist office goings-on. You’re monitored throughout by our staff and a simple device, clipped onto your finger, which gives constant read-outs of your pulse and oxygen levels.
Once the sedation is removed, it takes about half an hour to become alert enough to leave. You may still feel a bit woozy, confused and sleepy, and that’s why you need someone to accompany you home.
Once you’ve had a positive experience, you just may end up wondering what all the fuss was before. We certainly hope so.