Understanding the types of sedation dentistry in Fort Lauderdale
Here at Go Natural Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we take pride in providing gentle, comfortable dental care. We understand that anxiety can be overwhelming, even when you know that you are in good hands. That is why we offer several types of sedation, to meet the various needs of our patients. Many people are confused by the array of options, or they are unsure of what is best for them. Here we address some of the most commonly asked questions about each type of dental sedation.
Q: What is inhaled sedation?
A: This technique utilizes a colorless gas called nitrous oxide. The patient breathes in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide via a small, comfortable mask.
Q: Are “laughing gas” and nitrous oxide the same thing?
Q: How strong is nitrous oxide?
A: To some extent, that depends on the dosage, which your dentist can adjust to meet your needs. However, it is the mildest type dental sedative. You remain conscious and aware, but more relaxed and less anxious.
Q: How long do the effects of nitrous oxide last?
A: This type of sedation wears off very quickly. After treatment is complete, we turn off the supply of nitrous oxide, and use oxygen to clear it out of your lungs. This leaves you fully awake and aware. In fact, most patients can drive themselves home after an appointment.
Q: What are the side effects of nitrous oxide?
A: When administered correctly by a trained professional, this is a very safe sedative for most people. Sensitive individuals may experience symptoms such as headache or nausea, though this is rare. Common side effects include lightheadedness, a slightly drowsy feeling, or a mild sense of euphoria.
Q: Who is the best candidate for nitrous oxide?
A: This is the most common dental sedative for children, because it is quite safe and mild. It is also a good choice for many adults. You may be a good candidate if you:
- Want to relax while maintaining optimal awareness
- Have health issues prohibitive of stronger sedatives
- Need to be alert and able to drive after your appointment
Q: What is oral sedation?
A: As the name suggest, this sedative is administered via pills that you swallow. There are several types of oral sedatives available. We will recommend the best one based on your medical history and preferences.
Q: How strong is oral sedation?
A: It can range from mild to moderate sedation, depending on the medication and dosage. It is a great option for patients who want something stronger than nitrous oxide You will be conscious, but you will likely feel very drowsy and disinterested in your surroundings. Some patients do fall asleep but are easily awakened.
Q: How long do the effects of oral sedation last?
A: It typically takes at least a few hours for the sedative to wear off, though this varies depending on the dosage. You will still be sedated when you leave the office, so you’ll need to arrange for transportation home. Additionally, you should be aware that you will need to take the pill in advance, so it will have time to take effect. Therefore, you will also need transportation to your appointment.
Q: What are the side effects of oral sedation?
A: Like any prescription medication, there is a potential for adverse effects in certain patients. We will review your medical history carefully before determining if you are a good candidate for oral sedation. Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, or headaches, though these are not common. The most common effect is extreme sleepiness, which resolves when the sedative wears off. Some patients do not remember anything about the time they were sedated.
Q: Who is the best candidate for oral sedation?
A: We may recommend this option if you:
- Want something stronger than nitrous oxide, but also want to remain awake
- Have a phobia or strong dislike of needles
- Experience anxiety before a dental appointment even begins (an oral sedative is already beginning to take affect when you arrive at our office)
Q: What is IV sedation?
A: This is a sedative delivered intravenously.
Q: How strong is IV sedation?
A: Unlike general anesthesia, IV sedation does not force unconsciousness. However, it is generally a much heavier sedation than oral or inhaled options, and many patients fall asleep. To a great extent, the level of sedation depends on the dosage, which we can adjust at any time to meet your needs.
Q: How long do the effects of IV sedation last?
A: Like oral sedation, it will take some time for the sedative to work out of your system, so the effects wear off slowly. You will not be able to drive yourself home after treatment.
Q: What are the side effects of IV sedation?
A: It is very important that IV sedation be administered by a trained, qualified professional. When administered correctly, the risk of complications is low. Side effect may include fatigue, feeling ill, headache, or dizziness, which fade as it wears off. The vast majority of patients report nothing more than feeling very sleepy.
Q: Who is a good candidate for IV sedation?
A: People with certain medical conditions are at risk of complications from deeper levels of sedation, and therefore, are not considered candidates. We will discuss any possible risks and review your medical history during your consultation. IV sedation is most popular among patients who:
- Want to have multiple procedures done in a day, without the stress of a lengthy appointment
- Have severe anxiety
- Want optimal control over their sedation level (you can request the dosage be increased or decreased at any time, with near-instant results of adjustments)
The best way to choose the right type of sedation is to visit Dr. Yolanda Cintron for a consultation. Call Go Natural Dentistry at (855) 381-6001 to schedule.