Sedation dentistry is the use of medication (sedatives) to relax patients and relieve anxiety during dental procedures. This helps to reduce patient stress and encourages cooperation that enables the dentist to get more work done in fewer appointments.
At Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we offer nitrous oxide and IV sedation which are both forms of conscious sedation. This means that the patient will feel relaxed and sleepy but will be fully conscious and aware of their surroundings during their dental treatment. Contact us at Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.
Patients can usually drive after receiving nitrous oxide but those receiving IV sedation will need a ride to and from their dental appointment.
Dr. Goodman or Dr. Sholander will review your child’s medical history to determine if they are a good candidate for dental sedation. You will need to tell us about any medications they may take and any medical conditions they have.
We will administer nitrous oxide through a nasal mask which only takes a few minutes to take effect.
IV sedation will be administered through an IV and takes effect within a few minutes to a half-hour.
Once the patient is fully sedated, the dentist can perform any necessary dental work. As the patient is still conscious, the dentist may ask them questions directly during the procedure
After the procedure, we flush remnants of nitrous oxide out of the body by flowing pure oxygen through the nasal mask. Within a few minutes, the patient returns to normal. After the IV is removed for IV sedation, there will likely be some residual grogginess for some time after, but they’ll feel completely normal after several hours.
This sedative is very safe and mild, which makes it suitable for children. It is administered through a gas mask and inhaled by the patient. It has a quick onset so the patient will feel the effects of the sedative right away.
The effects of nitrous oxide include a feeling of relaxation, euphoria, and sometimes giddiness. It is not uncommon for patients to have a fit of laughter after inhaling laughing gas. The patient will be fully aware of their surroundings and be able to respond to questions.
However, they may not remember the procedure afterward. Nitrous oxide wears off within a few minutes of a steady oxygen supply.
The sedative and pain relief medication is administered to the patient’s veins through an IV. The intensity of the sedative can vary from moderate to deep sedation depending on the procedure.
The dosage of the sedative can be adjusted so that the patient is conscious during treatment and can respond to questions while feeling very relaxed or put them into a deep sleep. When patients are put to sleep using IV sedation, it is different from general anesthesia because they will not need breathing assistance.
The body will continue to breathe on its own and the patient will not remember anything when they wake up. If the patient is asleep, they will not be aware of their surroundings and no pain is felt.
Dental sedation can relieve a strong gag reflex.