As the name suggests, sedation dentistry is the practice of using sedative drugs on dental patients. Dentistry causes anxiety in a lot of people. According to some estimates, up to 60% of people suffer from some level of dental fear and anxiety.
Sedation dentistry is used to help patients overcome this fear and anxiety. With the right method of sedation, our dentists can keep you feeling calm, safe, and comfortable. You won’t have to worry about pain, discomfort, or anxiety while you get the dental care you need from North Billerica Smiles.
Nitrous oxide sedation uses a comfortable mask to send a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen into your nose. As you breathe in, you will feel the effects almost instantly. You will feel disconnected from events around you, and you will also feel much more calm.
However, you will be fully conscious and aware of what’s happening, and you won’t fall asleep. Nitrous oxide also wears off after about 5 minutes after your treatment, and has limited side effects. Unlike other methods of sedation, this means you can drive yourself to and from North Billerica Smiles for your appointment, and you can get right back to your day-to-day routine after your treatment.
Oral conscious sedation uses sedative pills. Depending on the medication, these may need to be taken the night before your appointment, an hour before your appointment, or both. The sedative will make you feel really groggy and sleepy.
In fact, it’s common for patients to fall asleep, and you may also forget what happens during your appointment. You won’t be unconscious, though. You can be woken up and you will still be able to respond to commands from your dentist.
The side effects of oral conscious sedation last up to 4-6 hours after your treatment. That means you’ll need to take it easy, and have someone drive you to and from our office in Billerica, and care for you after your appointment.
IV sedation uses the same drugs as oral conscious sedation, but they are sent right into your bloodstream using a needle. This means they act more quickly, and lead to a deeper level of sedation. You will sleep peacefully through your appointment.
However, this is not the same as general anesthesia. Like oral conscious sedation, you won’t be “knocked out.” You will remain conscious, just very sleepy. IV sedation is usually the best option for patients with really severe dental anxiety.
Just like oral conscious sedation, the side effects take a long time to wear off. You can’t drive safely, so you will need someone to drive you to and from North Billerica Smiles.
Absolutely. The right method of sedation depends on your health, age, preferences, and a lot of other factors. Our dentists will consult with you to help you choose the right type of sedation for you, and to ensure that you can be sedated safely. We have years of experience with dental sedation, so you will be in good hands at North Billerica Smiles.