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Sedation Dentistry Options In Houston and Friendswood TX

At South Friendswood Dental, we offer three different options for your sedation: oral conscious sedation, inhaled minimal sedation, and IV sedation.

Before we proceed, we’ll need to discuss your medical history and any exceptions that may preclude certain forms of sedation. Together we can then decide what sedation option is best for you.

In addition to helping you overcome your fear and anxiety, another advantage of sedation dentistry is that it allows us to perform several treatments in a single visit. In most cases, you’ll remember little if anything about the time spent; it will feel like you were in the office for only a few minutes. To add to your comfort, we also provide blankets, pillows, and wireless headphones.

Am I A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation can help a patient deal with strong feelings of fear and anxiety that accompany a visit to the dentist. If you have these characteristics, sedation dentistry at South Friendswood Dental could change how you view your appointment. Sedation could be an excellent option if you have:

  • Difficulty overcoming anxiety about the dentist
  • A low pain threshold
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • A very strong gag reflex
  • A large amount of work that needs to be done

These sedation options are not pain medication. Once sedated, we properly numb, or anesthetize, the area we are working on, making your procedure pain free.

Oral Vs. Nitrous Oxide Vs. IV Sedation

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

With oral sedation, a pill, usually Valium or a similar drug, is given about 30 minutes to an hour before the start of your procedure. This will make you drowsy, but you’re still awake and you can still respond to certain directions from Dr. Mahabir or Dr. Gandhi. If you prefer moderate sedation, we can simply increase the dosage.

How Long Does Oral Sedation Last?

For most patients, the effects of oral sedation last from two to four hours after their appointment. You need a ride to and from your appointment, plus shouldn’t drive for an additional 12 hours.

Oral Sedation Risks

Oral sedation also has an amnestic effect. While technically a side effect, most patients love this benefit because they have no recollection of their dental visit. Oral medications can also cause dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and occasional nausea, but these all pass quickly.

What Is Inhaled Minimal Sedation?

Nitrous oxide, long associated with the dentist’s office, is used with inhaled minimal sedation. A mask is placed over your nose and you breathe in the “laughing gas.” The gas helps you relax, but you’re still fully awake. The effects of the gas wear off very quickly. We precisely control the amount you receive. Inhaled sedation is the only form of sedation where you will be able to drive yourself home after your procedure. Inhaled sedation is the best sedation option for children.

How Long Does Inhaled Sedation Last?

Nitrous oxide can reach the brain in just seconds, so its effects are almost instantaneous. The same is true when administration is discontinued. It clears from the body in just a couple of minutes, and the patient is fully conscious without any lingering effects.

Inhaled Minimal Sedation Risks

The major risks with nitrous oxide sedation involve changes in the patient’s pressure/volume of air-filled cavities in the body. These pressure changes make it important that the patient has not recently had ocular eye surgery. Nitrous oxide can also create elevated pressure in the middle ear. Also, when nitrous oxide dissolves out of the blood into air-filled spaces such as the intestines, this can cause severe short-term gut pain. Otherwise, nitrous oxide is very safe and very effective.

What Is IV Sedation?

This type of sedation is delivered intravenously and works instantly. An advantage to IV sedation is that we can adjust the levels continually and monitor the patient throughout the procedure.

How Long Does IV Sedation Last?

For some patients, IV sedation wears off almost immediately after the administration is stopped. For others, they can feel its effects for a few hours after their appointment is over. Patients shouldn’t drive or operate machinery for 24 hours afterwards.

IV Sedation Risks

The biggest risk with IV sedation is over-sedation. Reaching too deep a level of sedation can be dangerous for medically compromised patients. Over-sedation can also lead to respiratory depression. Continual monitoring of the patient’s vital signs mitigates these risks.