Relax Throughout Your Appointment with Sedation Dentistry
If you become tense with stress and anxiety when you think about going to the dentist, you are not alone. Unfortunately, fear of going to the dentist can result in a downward spiral in which patients avoid routine and necessary dental care, which makes matters worse and can lead to even more avoidance. Patients can overcome this pattern with safe, effective sedation dentistry. In Wichita, KS, Dr. Byron J. Nordhus offers options that can allow you to be relaxed and comfortable while receiving the dental care that is so important to your health. Our experienced team can deliver medication before or during your treatment that allows you to feel calm throughout your visit. If you are interested in learning more about sedation options, or you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.
Types of Dental Sedation
Although we often use only local anesthesia for less invasive treatments, we want all our patients to be comfortable during their procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we provide a range of sedation options.
Oral sedatives refer to a group of medications called benzodiazepines. Depending on the dose, they can have a mild to moderate sedative effect. After consulting with you, Dr. Nordhus will select the appropriate medication and dosage. Then you simply take a pill at a predetermined time prior to your procedure. You will become sleepy but remain awake, and you will feel very relaxed. With many years of testing and use, benzodiazepines have been deemed safe and effective for most patients with minimal risk of side effects. The effects last for a few hours, so you will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has been used for decades in dental offices and hospitals as a mild form of sedation. Actually a mixture of nitrous oxide and air, it is administered from a canister by a tube and a small mask that fits over the nose. The effects are very relaxing, but you will remain alert. Once you stop inhaling the gas, the anesthetic effects wear off quickly. Nitrous oxide sedation can be used with most patients, from young to elderly. Sometimes oral sedation is combined with nitrous oxide sedation.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
If you are a candidate for IV sedation, it will be delivered by a nurse anesthetist. A small needle will be placed in the top of your hand or your inner elbow to deliver the medication intravenously. It will take effect very quickly, and you will be totally relaxed and comfortable. This type of sedation can work very well for patients that need extensive dental work, and for those with a sensitive gag reflex, because it relaxes both the jaw and facial muscles. You will still be conscious, however, and you will be able to respond to direction from Dr. Nordhus. Your memory of the procedure will likely be limited, and you will need to have someone drive you home.
Sedation dentistry is an effective tool to help you get the treatment you need. To learn whether you can benefit from sedation dentistry during your next visit to Nordhus Dentistry, please make an appointment with Dr. Nordhus today.