Does the mere thought of visiting a dentist have you tensing up? Then sedation dentistry may be right for you. Sedation dentistry is the use of certain medications to make your dental visit more relaxing and enjoyable. For many people who avoid dentists due to fear or anxiety, sedation dentistry can help patients remain calm and composed throughout their treatment.
The two main types of sedation offered are inhalation sedation and oral sedation. Inhalation sedation, also known as “laughing gas” or “nitrous oxide”, is one of the most common forms. Nitrous oxide is breathed in as a gas and has no smell or color. It typically consists of a mixture of 30 percent nitrous oxide and 70 percent oxygen. Nitrous oxide works rapidly, reaching the brain within 20 seconds. It also offers pain-killing properties which begin working after 2 to 3 minutes.
Another option for patients interested in sedation dentistry is oral sedation. Oral sedation is generally administered in the form of anti-anxiety pills or liquids. Often referred to as “happy pills”, patients who ingest these oral medications in the hours leading up their dental appointment typically feel relaxed and sometimes drowsy during their appointment. Due to the nature of these drugs, it’s important to have someone drive you to and from the dentist.
Depending on the treatment and your level of anxiety, our Matthews dentist may recommend minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, or in rare cases, general anesthesia. Regardless of the type of sedation chosen, you’ll likely be able to power through your treatment relaxed and without immense anxiety.