When it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth, proper oral hygiene is critical. This is more than just brushing and flossing your teeth at home every day. To maintain good oral health, it is also important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. Additionally, as soon as oral health issues arise, it is imperative that you get treatment right away. Ignoring oral health issues often leads to these issues growing worse over time, which then leads to the need for more invasive, more expensive treatments later on. However, if the thought of going to the dentist makes you feel scared or anxious, you may avoid going. At Downtown Dental Care, we can help you to feel more comfortable and relaxed, enabling you to get your necessary treatments, with conscious sedation.
Nitrous oxide is a form of mild sedation. It is the mildest form available and is ideal for patients with low levels of anxiety. This type of sedation is a colorless, odorless gas that is inhaled through a small mask placed over your nose. You breathe in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. The nitrous oxide goes to work almost instantly, helping you to feel more relaxed and comfortable. Nitrous oxide also works to raise your pain tolerance and decrease your gag reflex. You are still completely conscious and able to respond to requests and answer questions. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly, and you can drive yourself home in most cases.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a type of moderate sedation that involves taking medication by mouth approximately an hour before your appointment. The medication takes approximately 30 minutes to take effect, although the exact time varies from patient to patient. Once the sedation takes effect, you begin to feel sleepy and relaxed. Many patients report temporary amnesia with oral conscious sedation. They do not recall parts of their procedure or any of it at all. The effects of oral conscious sedation can linger for several hours following the completion of your procedure. For this reason, it is important that you have someone who can drive you home. You should continue to rest at home while the effects wear off and you can slowly resume your normal activities as you begin to feel more like yourself.
IV sedation is another type of moderate conscious sedation. Instead of taking medication by mouth, though, the sedative is delivered directly into your bloodstream through a small needle in the back of your hand or your arm. The medication goes to work almost instantly, making you feel relaxed, calm, and comfortable. Like oral conscious sedation, this type of sedation makes you feel sleepy, but you are still conscious. Again, many patients report a temporary amnesic effect. Once your procedure is over, the effects of IV sedation can linger for several hours, so you will need to have someone with you who can drive you home.
If you are feeling anxious about getting dental care, sedation can help. For more information on conscious sedation, and to find out which option is right for you, call Downtown Dental Care at (503) 420-7600 today.