Understanding Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous oxide vs. oral sedation

If going to the dentist makes you nervous, you’re not alone. In fact, about 15 million Americans suffer from some level of dental anxiety. For patients who are worried about going to the dentist, sedation dentistry from Life Dentistry in Lafayette is a great way to avoid anxiousness.

However, there are many different types of sedation available. How can you know what’s best for you? In this blog post, the team at LIFE Dentistry will examine two of the most common forms of sedation dentistry: nitrous oxide and oral sedation.

Nitrous oxide

What is it? Nitrous oxide is commonly known as “laughing gas,” and it’s one of the most widely available methods of sedation dentistry. This gas induces a euphoric mental state and can help combat feelings of anxiety, helplessness, and loss of control that are common among patients with dental anxiety.

How does it work? A mask will be placed over your nose and mouth, and a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen will be pumped through. Your dentist can adjust your dose if needed, and since the effects wear off rather quickly, the aftereffects are quite minimal.

Is it right for me? Inhaled sedation is best for patients who only suffer from mild cases of dental anxiety. Though it does help promote a healthier and less nervous mental state, it wears off quickly. Its effects are not nearly as dramatic as oral sedation or IV sedation.

However, unlike oral sedation or IV sedation, patients are usually able to drive a short time after undergoing nitrous oxide sedation.

Oral sedation

What is it? Oral sedation is the most common form of sedation dentistry used for mild-to-moderate cases of dental anxiety. A pill, usually Halcion, is provided to patients and taken up to an hour before their dental procedure.

The dose can be adjusted easily to change the level of patient consciousness, making oral sedation dentistry very flexible.

What does it do? Oral sedation typically makes you very drowsy and may cause forgetfulness. Usually, you will remain “awake” during oral sedation, though your mental state may be significantly impaired.

Is it right for me? Oral sedation is a good sedation dentistry option for patients who have more severe levels of dental anxiety. Its effects are long-lasting and powerful, unlike inhaled minimal sedation. If you are nervous about an upcoming oral procedure, oral sedation from Life Dentistry may be right for you.

Interested in sedation dentistry in Lafayette?

Contact Life Dentistry

At LifeDentistry in Lafayette, Colorado, Dr. James Martin specializes in making patients feel comfortable with powerful and safe dental anxiety solutions. At our office, patients can choose between inhaled minimal sedation with nitrous oxide, or more powerful oral sedation options.

Here at Life Dentistry, we value your comfort and convenience above all else. If you suffer from dental anxiety in Lafayette, come to our practice today. We can devise a treatment plan just for you and help you get the oral care that you need!

Contact us today at 970-289-5433, or see us in-person at 110 Old Laramie Trail E #100, Lafayette, CO 80026. We look forward to discussing your sedation dentistry needs!