Laughing gas is one of the most common methods of sedation dentistry. It is administered through a comfortable nose mask and it will give you a euphoric, happy feeling throughout your entire treatment. Laughing gas only lasts a few minutes after the nose mask is removed, and has very few side effects. This means that you can get back to your daily routine immediately after treatment, and you can even drive yourself home after your appointment, which is not possible with other methods of sedation. Laughing gas is ideal for patients with minor dental anxiety or those who are nervous about an upcoming procedure.
Oral conscious sedation is taken in pill or syrup form about 45 minutes to an hour before your procedure. In most cases, you will stay awake and alert during your procedure, though some patients may fall asleep during treatment.
Side effects of oral conscious sedation can last for up to 4-6 hours. After your treatment, you will feel groggy and a bit disconnected, which means that you will be unable to drive yourself home from your appointment. If you will be receiving oral conscious sedation, make sure you plan ahead and arrange a ride home after your visit!
IV sedation involves the rapid delivery of sedation medication intravenously, which also gives our dentists better control of the amount of medication that is being administered. Most patients who have IV sedation will sleep through their entire procedure, making this ideal for those who have a more serious case of dental anxiety or patients who will be undergoing more extensive dental treatments. Similar to oral conscious sedation, the after-effects of IV sedation can last about 4-6 hours, so you cannot drive yourself home from your appointment or expect to resume your daily routine immediately after your treatment.
General anesthesia is only very rarely used in dentistry. Unlike oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, general anesthesia requires a ventilator to assist your breathing. For patients with extreme dental phobia, or who are undergoing multiple complex oral surgeries, general anesthesia may be a good option to ensure that you are calm, comfortable, and pain-free throughout your treatment at Smile Culture Dental.