- Your level of sedation will depend on what procedure is planned and your level of anxiety or fear. Light sedation is used for exams, routine cleanings, and minor restorative procedures. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is our most common form of light sedation. At the beginning of your appointment, you begin breathing a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask over your nose. Throughout the procedure, you will remain awake but feel relaxed. At the end of your visit, you will breathe pure oxygen until you no longer feel the effects of the nitrous oxide, which is usually around five minutes. The biggest advantage of nitrous oxide sedation is the quick onset and recovery, allowing you to leave your appointment with no post-operative effects. This type of sedation is a very safe and effective method to make children comfortable during their dental appointment.
- Oral medications can be used to reach a deeper level sedation, which is helpful to relieve higher levels of anxiety. With oral conscious sedation, your doctor will prescribe a medication to be taken an hour before your dental appointment so that it has taken full effect before treatment is begun. Although you are still conscious, you will be very relaxed and at ease and may feel slightly groggy and not remember portions of the appointment. Your doctor will continuously monitor you throughout your appointment to ensure your safety. Although the peak effect of the medication will take place while in our office, you may feel under the influence for the remainder of the day. For that reason, we will ask that you have a responsible family member or friend escort you to and from your appointment. This type of sedation is very beneficial to our patients with a high level of anxiety or those who would like to remain deeply relaxed for more complex dental procedures.
- Our deepest form of sedation dentistry is IV sedation. When being treated under IV sedation, you generally fall asleep and have no awareness of what is occurring. This type of sedation is reserved for surgery or complicated procedures and either requires a referral to a specialist or arrangement for a dental anesthesiologist to be present during your procedure.
Dr. Kimes feels sedation dentistry can be very helpful if you have a fear of the dentist or anxiety about your visit. We want you to be comfortable during your care, so you and your doctor will discuss your concerns and together will determine which level of sedation is right for you.