Occasionally a patient may become anxious and cannot relax during an office visit. As many as 30% of adults in America are afraid of needles. During your consultation, we will evaluate what is best for you based on your age, health history, anxiety level, and the type of surgery. Together we will decide what will be the safest and most comfortable option
After a topical numbing agent is used on your gums, local anesthesia is administered to numb the teeth and gums near the area being worked on. This will last only a couple of hours. This is a great option for patients who have little or no anxiety before the procedure.
Laughing Gas/Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous Oxide, or “laughing gas”, is an odorless gas that is mixed with oxygen and breathed in through a nasal mask during surgery. It does not put you to sleep, but will help relieve any nervousness or anxiety while you are in the office. There are no residual effects from the gas once you leave the office. You will be able drive yourself home and will not feel any lasting effects throughout the day. This is not a good option for patients who are oxygen dependent or who have severe lung disease. SInce the nitrous oxide gas does not sedate you, this is a good option for patients with mild anxiety who do not mind being aware and awake during the procedure.
Patients who are more anxious may need an oral medication that is stronger than nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, the patient may be sleepy but can be aroused if necessary and can respond to simple commands.
Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medications. Before a visit in which a patient is to receive oral sedation, he/she should receive instructions about eating and drinking, what to expect and what to watch for after treatment. You will require assistance to get home after sedation, as driving under the influence of these oral sedatives can impair response times. Patients may need to stay for a short observation after dental treatment has been completed.