Our goal is to give comfortable local anesthesia so that patients are no longer fearful of dental appointments. We understand, however, that some patients have a fear of dentistry due to previous unpleasant experiences in other dental offices. We may offer you different types of sedation, depending on what procedures we are doing.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide is sometimes referred to as laughing gas because some patients may become slightly giddy when under the influence of nitrous oxide. Dentists use nitrous oxide mixed with 50-70% oxygen. The patient remains conscious and functions and breathes on their own through a mask on their face.
Oral sedation is taking one or more pills an hour or so before your dental appointment. Oral sedation has become very popular in dentistry during the past few years. The oral sedatives that we use are changing from time to time, but please ask about this option if you are fearful.
With nitrous oxide sedation we let the patient breathe pure oxygen for a few minutes at the end of their appointment and this gets all the nitrous oxide out of their system so they can drive their car. However, with oral sedation the patient must have someone else drive them to and from their dental appointment and they cannot drive until the effects of the sedation have completely worn off, which might be all day depending on the oral sedative drug that is used. We will occasionally use nitrous oxide along with an oral sedative.