What comes to mind when you think of sedation dentistry?
For many people, this is a way to manage feelings of dental anxiety. While that is certainly one of the most common reasons to consider dental sedation, it’s not the only reason we offer it at Atlanta West Dentistry.
Sedation is also valuable for patients who are undergoing long or complicated treatments. With our sedation options, we can help you stay relaxed and pain-free until your procedure is complete. This can allow us to complete your treatment in a single dental visit rather than spreading it out over multiple trips.
And we are happy to offer three kinds of sedation for our patients. If you are interested in dental sedation, we can probably help at our office in Marietta, GA.
Option 1: Nitrous Oxide
You might have heard this called by another name — laughing gas. The gas gets its nickname from the euphoric feeling it also produces for many people.
Nitrous oxide was first discovered in the 1770s. By 1800, a man named Humphry Davy realized that inhaling nitrous oxide could prevent people from feeling pain. By the mid- to late-1800s, nitrous oxide was being used for medical and dental procedures.
Today, we have a much better understanding of what nitrous oxide can do and how to control it than when it was first used by dentists. We have used nitrous oxide to help anxious patients receive dental cleanings and even a few other procedures at our practice.
Taking it is quite literally as easy as breathing. When you inhale the gas, you begin to feel its effects within minutes. It can help you stay relaxed and pain-free as long as you are breathing it. At the end of your procedure, we simply turn off the gas and remove your mask. By breathing normally, you will exhale any remaining gas in your lungs. Many patients return to feeling like themselves within minutes.
Option 2: Oral Sedation
This is sometimes called oral conscious sedation. This type of sedation starts when you take a dose of medication before your dental appointment.
For this reason, you also should arrange for a family member or friend to drive you to your appointment and back home when it is over.
The medication will take longer to take effect than nitrous oxide, but we will wait until it does before starting your treatment. Like nitrous oxide, oral sedation will prevent you from feeling pain. It will keep you relaxed throughout your treatment. Many people are so relaxed that they may feel like they are falling asleep. You may not remember much if anything about your treatment.
We mention this because several people consider this the best part about oral sedation.
Since this is a stronger form of sedation, you may feel its effects for hours after your treatment is over. You should plan to rest when you get home if you receive this form of sedation.
Option 3: IV Sedation
Many dentist offices offer nitrous oxide. Some offer oral sedation, too, but not nearly as many give you the option of IV sedation. This form of sedation can only be administered by a licensed professional who has completed 60 hours of courses and at least 20 hours of clinical training.
We have set up a special suite at our practice specifically so we can provide IV sedation for patients who need it. This is an invaluable tool for many oral surgeries.
This is the strongest dental sedation option that we offer. While it takes effect quickly, those effects will remain with you for a while after your treatment is complete. As with oral sedation, you will need a family member or friend to drive you home if you receive IV sedation.