iSmile Family Dentistry is proud to offer our East Hartford, CT patients the option of sedation dentistry to ensure the best experience. We understand that some patients experience anxiety when visiting the dentist, and our goal is to make every visit as comfortable as possible. With sedation dentistry, we can help you relax and feel comfortable during your procedure.
Types of Sedation
There are many types of sedation available for dental procedures, and the type of sedation used will be based on the procedure being performed, the patient’s anxiety level, and the preference of the dental professional.
Before your appointment, we will take the time to discuss these options with you and together determine what may be best for your appointment. Before contacting our office, we invite you to review the below section to learn about each type of sedative. From there, you may have a better idea of what could work best for you.
Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that is administered through a small mask that is placed over the nose. The gas works to relax patients and usually takes effect within minutes. It works by influencing signals sent by neurotransmitters in the brain; the sedative blocks some of these signals, causing a sense of relaxation. Additionally, it stimulates the natural release of dopamine, which is one of the body’s “feel good” chemicals.
This type of sedation is often used for short procedures or for patients who have mild anxiety. It is important to note that nitrous oxide does not put patients to sleep, and they will be able to hear and respond to the dental professional throughout the procedure.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a medication that is taken orally before the dental procedure. The medication works to relax patients and usually takes effect within an hour. Because the medication must be digested before it begins taking effect, it is less controlled than other types of sedation. While stronger than nitrous oxide, its effects may linger for several hours following the appointment. These effects include drowsiness and impaired motor skills; therefore, patients will need someone to drive them home after the appointment.
This type of sedation is often used for longer procedures or for patients with moderate anxiety. Like nitrous oxide, it does not put patients to sleep, but rather relaxes them and decreases their level of anxiety.
IV sedation is a type of conscious sedation that is administered through an IV drip. The medication works quickly to relax patients and usually takes effect within minutes. Because the medication is administered intravenously, it can be better controlled than oral conscious sedation.
This type of sedation is often used for long or invasive procedures, or for patients with severe anxiety. It puts patients into a sleepy state, but does not put them to sleep; they will still be able to hear and respond to the dental professional throughout the procedure. While patients do remain conscious, IV sedation does produce an amnesiac effect—meaning they will likely not remember the procedure after it is over. For this type of sedation, it is necessary for the patient to have a friend or family member drive them home following their appointment.
Ready to Get Started?
Call today to inquire about sedation for yourself or your child!