At Torrance Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, we understand that may patients fear certain oral surgical procedures. To alleviate these fears, we provide options to assist our patients with their anxiety and improve their comfort during procedures.
What techniques are available?
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
- IV Sedation
- Oral Conscious Sedation
Prior to any form of sedation to be administered, a thorough review of a patient’s medical history and current medications will be evaluated. This is in addition to a physical exam.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Intravenous sedation is a moderate type of sedation. Patients who have previously experienced IV sedation often report feeling like they slept through the entire procedure. It is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. Sometimes patients feel groggy and sleepy when the IV sedatives are withdrawn. This is why it is important to bring a designated driver for the drive home.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. However, a consultation and the completion of the surgical consent form must be completed on a separate visit prior to the medication administration. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember anything associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and the patient is brought to the office by a designated driver. Nitrous oxide or IV anesthesia can then be provided as needed to make the patient even more comfortable.