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Sedation Dentistry – Terrell, TX

Feel Relaxed and Calm at the Dental Office

Do you struggle with dental anxiety or fear? Whether you’ve a bad experience in the past or you have a low tolerance for treatments, going to the dentist can be a stressful ordeal, but avoiding your dental care only puts you at greater risk for serious oral diseases. At Texas Dentistry, we have the resources to remove that stress and get you the dental care you need! Our dental office offers every available level of sedation dentistry in Terrell, including even those typically seen only in hospitals! All you need to do is give our dental office a call before your appointment so that we are prepared to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

Why Choose Texas Dentistry for Sedation Dentistry?

Oral Conscious Sedation

Woman relaxing in dentist's treatment chair

For moderate levels of anxiety, we may choose oral conscious sedation, a common form of sedation dentistry. In short, you will take a sedative orally before your appointment, allowing you to remain completely calm and relaxed in the treatment chair. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, then you can read on to learn more about what oral conscious sedation is, how it works, and who is a good candidate!

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Woman smiling while holding handheld mirror at dentist's office

Oral conscious sedation could include a variety of medications. With that said, the most commonly prescribed ones are Valium, Ativan, and Halcion. Patients using this sedation option will take the pill a few hours before the procedure, which will ensure that you feel the full effects by the time your appointment begins. Since there are no nasal masks or needles involved but the effects are fast-acting and reliable, it’s not surprising oral conscious sedation is so popular!

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

Closeup of woman relaxing in dentist's treatment chair

Before your appointment, you take this sedative orally, and by the time your appointment begins, you feel completely relaxed. We usually recommend taking the sedative several hours before your appointment so that its effects have had a chance to work. During the appointment, you will be awake, but you will likely not remember details from your time in the treatment chair. Because this sedation method is so effective, you need to have a friend or family member drive you to and from the appointment.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Woman smiling while holding handheld mirror at dentist's office

Most often, patients benefit from oral conscious sedation when they:

  • Suffer with moderate to severe dental-related anxiety.
  • Have a strong gag reflex.
  • Need to undergo complex or lengthy dental treatments, like multiple tooth extractions.
  • Have a fear of needles.
  • Experience severe dental sensitivity.
  • Have physical ailments or disabilities that make it difficult to remain still in the treatment chair.

If you want to learn more about this safe and effective sedation dentistry option, then don’t hesitate to give our team at Texas Dentistry and Braces a call. That way, we can answer any questions you have and determine if oral conscious sedation is the best option for you!

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Inside of oxygen mask

If you have mild anxiety or fear around the thought of getting dental work done, then nitrous oxide in Terrell may be an ideal option for you. This fast-acting, odorless gas consists of a combination of both oxygen and nitrous and is administered through a nasal mask that you wear throughout treatment. Once you arrive for your appointment, we can begin giving you nitrous oxide right away to start the calming sensation you’ll enjoy throughout your procedure. What’s the best part? Its effects wear off just as quickly as they set in, allowing you to get back to your day without any lingering grogginess.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

young woman in dental chair giving thumbs up

Nitrous oxide is the mildest form of sedation dentistry available, and it’s extremely safe for adults as well as children. In most cases, it’s ideal for patients with mild to moderate levels of dental anxiety. However, it can also benefit patients who have:

  • Sensitive teeth or gums
  • A touchy gag reflex
  • A fear of needles
  • Difficulty becoming numb from local anesthesia alone
  • Back or neck pain
  • Difficulty sitting in the treatment chair for an extended period of time
  • Mental, physical, or behavioral special needs that make dental treatments without sedation difficult

Before receiving nitrous oxide, your sedation dentist in Terrell will review your candidacy for the sedative. Most patients make good candidates, but certain medications or medical conditions may disqualify you. These include pregnancy, glaucoma, sinus congestion, and respiratory disease.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work? 

young woman getting nitrous oxide sedation at the dentist

When you get settled in the dental chair, we’ll place a small hood over your nose, through which we’ll administer the nitrous oxide. It shouldn’t be visible or smell like anything, but you should begin to feel its effects almost immediately. You’ll start to feel lighter, calmer, and even euphoric; you might even get the giggles, which is where the nickname “laughing gas” comes from!

Once we’ve completed your procedure, all we need to do is remove the nasal mask and have you breathe in regular air. The sedative’s effects should begin to wear off just as quickly as they came on.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

man shaking hands with his dentist

It shouldn’t take more than half an hour or so for the nitrous oxide to fully leave your system and for you to feel back to normal. Our team will make sure that you feel comfortable before sending you on your way. You should be able to drive yourself back to work, school, or home and continue with your regularly scheduled day. Be sure to follow any post-op guidelines that we have provided to ensure you make a full recovery!

IV Dental Sedation

IV sedation drip

In cases of more severe anxiety or fear, we offer IV (intravenous) sedation. Using this method, we can administer strong sedatives directly into your bloodstream for an almost immediate calming effect. Despite this, you’ll still be conscious and able to let us know whether you need an additional sedative to feel relaxed. This form of sedation is particularly ideal for people with mental disabilities, who cannot remain still in the dental chair for long periods of time.

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General Anesthesiology

Patient with eyes closed in dental chair

Although more commonly used in medical procedures like surgery, general anesthesia puts you into a sleep-like state. Our Terrell dental office is proud to have the expertise and training required to safely administer and regulate medications used in general anesthesia, which may be ideal for your treatment if you’re getting a large amount of dental care done or you’re undergoing a complex procedure. Removing all signals and reflexes to the brain during treatment, this method is also especially helpful for those who are extremely sensitive to discomfort.

Getting the dental care you need is possible through sedation dentistry! Just let us know about your concerns before your appointment so that we make the right accommodations. We’ll make your visit a comfortable and relaxing experience.

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Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Can Dental Sedation Be Adjusted During My Procedure?

It depends on the type of sedation you are getting. Oral conscious sedation comes as a prescribed pill you take in advance. It cannot be increased or decreased during the appointment. However, nitrous oxide, IV sedation, and general anesthesia can all be modified while you’re in the chair. We’ll closely monitor your vital signs and check in with you to make sure you’re perfectly comfortable. If necessary, we can raise or lower the medication according to your unique needs.

What Are the Side Effects of Dental Sedation?

One of the amazing things about nitrous oxide is that it comes with a rare risk of side effects. Some patients, but not many, experience nausea, but otherwise, it is perfectly safe for patients of all ages, even kids. More powerful sedation options can have longer lasting effects and potentially have other risks, which is why we want to know about your allergies, medications, and medical history in advance. With all this information, we can consider which option is the safest for you. Keep in mind that oral and IV sedation can have an amnesia-like effect, meaning you may not recall exactly what happened during your time in the chair, even if you remain awake throughout the appointment.

Will Dental Sedation Actually Put Me to Sleep?

With the exception of general anesthesia, sedation dentistry does not render you unconscious. With oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, you may feel so relaxed that you fall asleep on your own during the procedure, but only general anesthesia puts you under. If you have one of these other options, you should be able to respond to instructions or questions, but you will feel completely content and at ease, even if you don’t remember all the details of your visit afterward.

Will I Need to Have Someone Drive Me Home?

With nitrous oxide, the effects fade as quickly as they kick in. In other words, within minutes of the nasal mask being taken away, you should feel back to normal and be able to drive. On the other hand, with oral and IV sedation, it can take several hours for the effects to wear off. The same is true for general anesthesia. As a result, a friend or family member will need to drive you home and ideally monitor you until you feel like your usual self again.

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