Are you stressed out about an upcoming dental procedure? Do you find yourself unable to get comfortable when you’re in the dentist’s chair? You’re not alone.
It’s not unusual to have dental anxiety, but the good news is that dental anesthesia and sedation can help. These methods make you feel relaxed and relieve pain during your appointment — but are they really safe?
It’s a question we hear often, and the answer is yes. When dental anesthetics and sedation are administered by a trained professional, they are very safe for most people.
- Paul Fuentes, DDS, Andrew Peterson, DMD, and our team at Arcadia Perio are experienced dental surgeons, and we’re here to ease your worries.
Read on to learn more about the different types of anesthesia and sedation available, as well as their benefits and risks.
Your dental sedation options
We offer three different types of dental sedation at Arcadia Perio, ranging from light to deep. Our team is highly trained in administering:
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation. You inhale the gas through a mask placed over your nose, and it helps you feel relaxed and euphoric during your dental procedure.
We typically recommend nitrous oxide for patients who are nervous about procedures like cleanings, fillings, and extractions. Nitrous oxide is safe and effective. It’s also one of the quickest-acting forms of dental sedation, and it wears off quickly after the procedure is over.
Oral sedation involves taking a sedative pill, like a benzodiazepine, before your dental procedure to help you relax. The medication causes drowsiness, which helps make the procedure feel less stressful and more comfortable.
Oral sedation is safe when taken as prescribed by a dentist or oral surgeon. It takes longer than nitrous oxide to take effect, and it can make you feel groggy for several hours after your procedure.
Intravenous (IV) sedation
IV sedation is the deepest form of sedation we offer at Arcadia Perio. We administer medication through a vein to make you more relaxed and comfortable during your procedure.
We typically recommend IV sedation for more involved procedures, like wisdom tooth extraction or complex dental surgery. While IV sedation is generally safe, a trained anesthesiologist must be present, and we monitor you closely during treatment.
The benefits and risks of dental anesthesia and sedation
If you have dental anxiety, dental sedation can offer a number of benefits. It reduces your stress level, both before and during your procedure. When you’re more relaxed, we can perform your procedure more effectively, which can improve your outcomes.
Dental anesthesia and sedation also provide enhanced pain relief. While we always use local anesthesia when necessary, added sedation can make the procedure even more comfortable for you.
Dental sedation is generally safe for most people, but there are some risks associated with it. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the medication used for sedation, which can be serious and require immediate medical attention.
In rare cases, sedation can cause respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening. This is why we monitor patients closely during their procedures. Finally, some forms of dental anesthesia and sedation can cause long-term side effects, like memory loss or changes in behavior.
If you’re interested in dental anesthesia or sedation, talk to our team about the benefits and risks. Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history and any allergies, so we can help you make the best decision for your situation.
Dental anesthesia and sedation are generally safe when administered by the trained professionals at Arcadia Perio, and they can be a good option for people who are nervous about dental procedures.
To find out if you’re a candidate, schedule an appointment with our team. Call our office in Arcadia, California, at 626-600-2009 or book an appointment online today.