Sedation can be minimal, where you are awake but relaxed, moderate, where you might slur your words and not remember the procedure, deep, where you are almost unconscious, or general, where you are unconscious.
There are a number of different sedation dentistry options to choose from, including the following:
This medication is usually taken an hour or so before the treatment, or even the night prior. Patients stay conscious but won’t have any memory of their visit. It is important to have a friend or loved one to bring you to your appointment and drive you home, since oral sedation can impair the ability to drive safely.
Nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas, is given through a mask worn over the nose. The patient will stay awake but feel relaxed. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off straight away so it is safe to drive yourself to and from the procedure.
IV sedation is given intravenously and this option gives a deep, fast-acting level of sedation. This option is best for patients undergoing extensive procedures or those who are especially anxious. Those having IV sedation must not drive themselves home after their procedure.
If a patient chooses to have sedation dentistry, it is usually possible to perform several procedures in one appointment. Having to make fewer visits can also save you time and money.