Sedation dentistry is designed to provide the benefits mentioned above for patients who need dental treatments to be more comfortable and less stressful.
The process varies widely, depending on the level of sedation, which may range from minimal sedation to general anesthesia. In most cases, patients will need someone to bring them to and from their appointments, but if only nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is used, you may be able to drive yourself home.
The deepest sedation option can require fasting for around 12 hours before a dental procedure.
What are My Dental Sedation Options?
La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry offers several in-house sedation options:
1. Oral Sedation
Oral or “twilight” sedation comes in pill form and is administered before your procedure. You can expect to become more relaxed and sleepy. Even if you are not fully asleep, you will remain comfortable throughout your entire time in the dental chair.
This option is suitable for those with mild dental anxiety or those requiring extensive dental treatment. Oral sedation will take a few hours to wear off completely, so you’ll need someone to take you home after your appointment.
2. Inhaled Sedation
Nitrous oxide is typically administered through a nasal hood before and during your procedure. It will make you feel very relaxed, with many patients describing the feeling as happy or giddy.
This option also raises your pain tolerance and makes time pass more quickly. Laughing gas wears off immediately after oxygen is administered and is best for those with moderate to severe dental anxiety. Most adult patients who choose this sedation method can drive home after their procedure.
3. IV (Intravenous) Sedation
IV sedation, also known as “twilight sleep” or conscious sedation, is administered intravenously. Unlike with general anesthesia, you will feel no pain but can breathe comfortably on your own.
There are fewer risks compared to general anesthesia, and you will experience fewer complications, like grogginess and nausea. However, you can expect to feel the effects of IV sedation for a little while after your visit and will need a driver if you choose this option.
Deciding on the suitable sedation method relies on several factors, including your level of dental anxiety. Dr. Kohani will discuss your previous dental experiences during your consultation to determine the best solution for your needs.