Goodnight to Dental Fear
For some, visiting a dental office can bring some anxiety. Along with some TLC, there are different methods and medications that your dentist can use to sedate you to help make your visit a more pleasant one.
The more common method of sedation is the use of a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). You simply breathe the gas mixture through your nose while the dental work is being done. Immediately after the dental treatment has been completed the gas mixture is now just oxygen and the effects of the nitrous oxide are worn off so quickly that you are able to leave soon after the gas is turned off.
Your dentist can also provide you with a pill or liquid to take before your appointment (oral sedation). The most common types are ValiumTM, AtivanTM, HalicionTM. These types of medications relax you and may also give you temporary amnesia so that some parts of your dental visit may be forgotten.
There are dentists that are trained to sedate you by administering intravenous medications. In this twilight-like sleep, you are responsive to verbal direction while you "daydream".
Dental Anesthesia is not only for anxious patients but many patients enjoy the comfort of completing long or complex procedures in a relaxed environment.
When sedation is administered intravenously (through a vein in one's arm) there is always a Registered nurse and Dental Assistant present. They monitor the patient with an electrocardiogram, pulse oximeter, and blood pressure is taken routinely (similar to a hospital operating room) The patient also receives extra oxygen on a continuing basis. After the procedure patients can leave the office usually after about 60 minutes following the completion of the procedure. They will need to be accompanied home by a responsible adult and will more than likely sleep for the remainder of the day.