Dr. Michael Regan and our dental team understand that many dental patients have anxiety and fear related to dental work, whether it is simply a professional cleaning or more complex restorations. We have undergone comprehensive training not only in administering multiple types of sedation medications, but also have created an office space that communicates warmth and comfort. Your experience with Dr. Regan will create positive memories and provide a foundation to build upon for future dental visits.
Mild Sedation or Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous Oxide is the most common way to provide comfort. Often called laughing gas, Nitrous Oxide is a clear gas that is administered through inhalation.
Using a small nose cover, you will breathe a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide and gradually come into a deeper state of relaxation. You will be awake and able to respond to touch and speech, but time may pass much more quickly for you under the effects of the nitrous. At the end of your appointment, you will be given oxygen for several minutes and by the time you have completed your appointment, the nitrous will no longer be in your system.
As with any altered state there is some risk, and most commonly patients that have food within an hour or two of their appointment may feel slightly nauseous.
Conscious Sedation is administered orally and typically involves several pills or a liquid (for children) taken orally either the night before or the morning of an appointment. Halcion, Valium, and Demerol are commonly used together to provide a deep sedated state.
A patient may still be responsive, or they may fall asleep, depending on their body chemistry, but it is not a state of 'forced sleep' and they will usually be responsive to touch and speech. However, one of the most favorable benefits is that most patients who undergo conscious sedation will have a state of amnesia after the appointment and may not remember clearly the procedures that occurred or what they did afterward until the medication has worn off. This can be a benefit to patients who have dental phobia and wish to build confidence in their ability to complete treatment with positive memories and experiences.
When a patient is sedated to this extent, a driver is necessary to take them to and from the appointment, and the rest of the day should be spent resting until the medication is completely out of their system.
For more information regarding our sedation options and treatments, please contact us at 503-654-8283.