Does the thought of going to the dentist make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office? You’re not alone. Many people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment at all. For patients like you, we may have a solution.
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure since they gas wears off quickly once full oxygen is given after the procedure is finished.
Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
You can really relax in the dental chair and forget that you even had an appointment because of the amnesia affects of the pill.