We understand that going to the dentist may be stressful for some of our patients. If you’re nervous about your dental visit, please let us know! We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your dental treatment and are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective light sedation. You may be a candidate for very light sedation if you have the following:
- A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist.
- A hard time sitting still for long periods of time.
- Apprehension about certain dental procedures.
We will first evaluate whether you are a candidate for light sedation. If so, we will prescribe you a medication to take the night before your appointment to help you sleep. The morning of your appointment, you will arrive an hour early to take the oral sedative. With this light sedation, you will remain awake during treatment, but be very sleepy. You will be able to breath on your own and you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Most patients remember very little of the appointment. Someone will need to bring you to and from your appointment; you will not be able to drive. Also, someone will need to stay with you after the procedure until you recover. Patients typically recover from light sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Administered through a small mask that fits over your nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety, raise your pain threshold, and may even make time seem like it’s passing quicker than usual. At the end of your appointment, you will breath regular oxygen and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear, so you can resume your normal activities immediately.