What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a treatment option for adult patients who experience anxiety and fear during a visit to the dentist.

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. It enables patients to better tolerate lengthy dental procedures and makes the overall experience a more positive one.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) “the administration of sedation and general anesthesia has been an integral part of dental practice since the 1840s.”

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet smelling, colorless gas used in the medical and dental professions as a sedative inhalant. Most often nitrous oxide is administered through a nasal mask. While under sedation patients are able to breathe, hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. This is called “conscious sedation.” Some patients may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering some of what happened during their treatment.

The effect of the nitrous oxide wears off soon after the treatment has ended and the mask is removed. Patients can safely drive home after their appointment and resume normal activities.

Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation:

v    Increases patient comfort.

v    No after effect such as a “hangover”.

v    The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.

v    Short recovery time.

v    Inhalation sedation is safe and effective with no side effects to heart and lungs, etc.

v    Short duration of onset by rapidly reaching the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

v    Inhalation sedation is easy to administer.

Nitrous Oxide Precautions:

Nitrous oxide should not be used if you are pregnant or have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Though there are no other major contraindications, individuals who have emphysema, chest problems, MS, a cold, are claustrophobic or have difficulties with breathing may be advised against this type of sedation.

Sedation Dentistry is a very safe ADA and FDA approved treatment.

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