For some patients, a dental office can cause a great deal of fear and anxiety. Sedation dentistry is used to help provide patients with a relaxing and anxiety-free experience while receiving their dental treatment. Sedation is the process used to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of sedatives. Patients have choices on how they would like to be sedated. They can choose nitrous gas (laughing gas), oral sedation (ex: Ativan, Valium, Xanax), and intravenous injection (IV) administered and in the care of a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist). Each patient can choose with alternative is right for them.
Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas”, is one option for sedation. The gas, combined with oxygen, is breathed in through the nose and it helps you relax. The dentist controls the amount of sedation you will receive and the gas wears off quickly after your treatment is complete. Nitrous gas allows you to drive yourself, to and from, our office safely.
Oral sedation dentistry is the administration of oral sedative drugs in combination with the nitrous gas. This is generally recommended for a procedure when a patient experiences fear or anxiety. The dentist prescribes a sedation drug, such as Triazolam, Ativan, or Valium. The patient will generally take a dose of the prescribed medication an hour before their appointment and bring the remaining of the prescription with them to the appointment. The patient will be monitored closely and placed on nitrous oxide during the procedure. Many times the patient will fall asleep during the procedure but can easily be awakened. With oral sedation, it is important that the patient not be left alone for 24 hours. It is extremely important for the patient to have a companion to drive them to and from the appointment, as well, as assist them when they return home.
Intravenous sedation is medication delivered through a very small needle placed in either the top of your hand or within your inner elbow. This type of sedation is designed to make patients completely comfortable and eliminate any anxiety patients may be having. We have well trained certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), who travel to our office to administer IV sedation and who monitor patients throughout their appointments. This type of sedation is comparable to that, administered during a colonoscopy procedure and is not general anesthesia. Patients will need to have a companion with them to drive to and from the appointment and assist them for the next 24 hours.
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For more information on the best dental procedure for you, Call Sullivan Dental Center today at (225) 224-8444 to schedule a consultation and find out more about the services we offer.