ORAL & NITROUS SEDATION
A significant number of Americans do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist. Our dental offices offer safe sedation dentistry techniques that include nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral sedation for those patients who are fearful of the dentist.
Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives:
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood, and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required.
Here are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:
Valium®– This sedative has amnesic properties and a long half-life. It is usually used for time-consuming, complex procedures.
Halcion®– Usually used to treat insomnia, Halcion is an effective sedative with amnesic properties. A short half-life makes this sedative useful for shorter procedures.
Ativan®– This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety. It has amnesic properties and a medium half-life. Ativan is typically used for treatments shorter than two hours.
Versed®– This sedative has the shortest half-life and is therefore less commonly used. It alleviates anxiety in much the same way as nitrous oxide, and is used for visits that will take less than 30 minutes.
Triazolam®– Triazolam is used on a short-term basis to treat insomnia, Triazolam is in a class of medications called benzodiazepines.