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At Space Age Smiles we offer sedation dentistry at our Houston area dental office. There are several types of sedation dentistry and in this blog we will go over the kinds that are offered at Space Age Smiles Clear Lake Dentist.

We use nitrous oxide in our sedation dentistry in Clear Lake Texas.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Space Age Smiles, dentist in Houston, offers different levels of sedation dentistry based on your needs. Factors like your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure, your health history and personal preferences will help us decide together what level of sedation is best for you. During your procedure, we will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels to ensure you are safe and comfortable the entire time.

Nitrous oxide

You may have heard nitrous oxide referred to as “laughing gas.” You inhale nitrous oxide through a mask and the calming effects begin within three to five minutes. Laughing gas isn’t going to make you sleep like general anesthesia. Alternatively, inhaling the mixture can make you experience a sense of light tingling. The nitrous oxide slows down your nervous system to make you feel less inhibited. You will have a general body-wide sense of numbness and feel a little lightheaded, but you will still be able to interact with the dental staff during your procedure. Ultimately, you should be calm and comfortable throughout the procedure. You might even giggle a time or two. Dr. Darcey controls the amount of sedation you receive and adjusts dosages accordingly throughout your procedure. Once your treatment is over, Dr. Darcey gives you pure oxygen through the mask to flush the nitrous oxide out of your system. Because the laughing gas leaves your system so quickly, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Light sedation

With light sedation, Dr. Darcey gives you an oral sedative medication to take about an hour before your procedure begins. This will be combined with nitrous oxide during your procedure. You’ll be able to remain alert while feeling very relaxed. You may experience some memory loss. Because oral sedation temporarily affects your memory and motor skills, you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure.

Moderate sedation

Moderate sedation includes the patient taking an oral sedative before arriving for their procedure and receiving additional oral sedatives at the dental office, combined with nitrous oxide during the procedure. Most patients fall asleep during moderate sedation. Under moderate sedation, you will experience memory loss and will likely not remember most of the appointment. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home.

Intravenous (IV) sedation

IV sedation dentistry is the deepest form of conscious sedation available in a dental office setting. A minority of our patients at Space Age Smiles need IV sedation for longer procedures. For this type of sedation an anesthesiologist will come to the office to administer the IV sedation. People who receive IV sedation dentistry fall asleep and have little to no memory of their treatment when they wake up. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you for the rest of the day.

Good Things About Nitrous Oxide Sedation

  • Laughing gas makes dental treatments much less painful.
  • The laughing gas administration method is relatively easy.
  • Nitrous oxide sedation has been used in dentistry for centuries.
    An English chemist named Joseph Priestly first invented the laughing gas in 1793.
  • The effects are easily controlled.
  • It works very fast, in about 2 or 3 minutes.
  • It is extremely safe for the brain, heart, liver, lungs and kidneys.

Nitrous oxide is very healthy and hurts none of the internal organs. In fact, when administered by a doctor, the only real risks of using nitrous oxide are the disorienting effects — meaning you could slip or fall if you stand too quickly. Fortunately, these symptoms only last for 3-5 minutes after the end of administration. You won’t feel any “hangover” symptoms from the nitrous oxide and after the treatment you will be able to drive yourself home safely.

Nitrous Oxide is great if…

  • You feel anxiety about your dental appointment.
  • You can’t stop gagging when the dentist puts instruments in your mouth.
  • You have special health care needs.
  • You have extreme teeth sensitivity.

Using nitrous oxide allows the patient to be relaxed for their dental procedure. This makes it easier for Dr. Darcey to do her job, and often the procedure time is reduced because we are able to work faster when our patients are relaxed and comfortable.

Nitrous oxide is perfect for young patients, disabled patients and patients with dental anxiety — the calming and numbing effects work quickly and no needles are required!

Contact us at Space Age Smiles today to schedule your next dental appointment, and let us know if you are interested in receiving any of our sedation services. After their first sedation dentistry appointment, many of our patients were able to overcome their fear of the dentist and no longer need the nitrous oxide for their visits. We look forward to helping you too!

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