An upcoming dental procedure can bring up anxiety or stress, even when you’re not typically an anxious person. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Nervousness about going to the dentist is quite common. Thankfully, dentists like your caring Shoreline Dental Studio professionals offer sedation dentistry so you can feel comfortable and at ease during your dental treatment.
What is Dental Sedation?
Your Mission Viejo and San Clemente general dentists understand that dental anxiety looks different for everyone. So if you’re thinking, “I’m looking for dental sedation near me in Orange County,” we can create a sedation dentistry plan together that’s personalized for you. Factors we’ll consider include your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure, your health history, and, of course, your personal preferences.
Be sure to ask about dental sedation well before your procedure. At Shoreline Dental Studio, we offer two types of dental sedation: oral sedation and laughing gas. (A third — intravenous sedation — is also common, and available at our office under special circumstances.)
Dr. Ritzau, Dr. Livingston, Dr. Saad, and Dr. Winters are specifically certified to assess our patients’ sedation dentistry needs and prescribe safe and effective solutions. We might even recommend combining oral sedation and laughing gas for an even more relaxed dental experience.
Sedation dentistry is meant to address your mental well-being during dental treatment; it doesn’t affect your physical response to pain. So you’ll find that local anesthetics that numb your mouth are still used for procedures that normally require them.
Who can benefit from dental sedation?
We offer sedation dentistry for most adults at Shoreline Dental. Whether you’re visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning, a filling because of tooth decay, or a more involved procedure like a dental implant, dental sedation is available.
We recommend dental sedation for those who have:
- An overly sensitive gag reflex
- A fear of needles
- Tooth sensitivity
- Claustrophobia while in the dental chair
- Difficulty controlling their movements
- Special needs (physical, cognitive, or behavioral).
What are the Different Types of Dental Sedation at Shoreline Dental?
So what is oral sedation? Simply put, oral sedation is taking prescription anti-anxiety medication before your procedure to relieve your dental anxiety or nervousness. You’ll take the medication about an hour before your appointment.
The most common oral sedatives used in oral sedation dentistry are the same medications used to treat general anxiety, like Valium, Ativan, Halcion, and Ambien.
Expect to feel fairly drowsy during your procedure when using oral sedation — you might even fall asleep. We’ll keep a close eye on your vitals and ask you how you’re doing throughout your treatment. Oral conscious sedation also minimizes the memory of your procedure and it can allow your dentist to work more efficiently, thereby lessening how long you spend in the dentist’s chair.
Oral sedation wears off between 2-8 hours depending on which medication you took. It temporarily affects your memory and motor skills, so enlist a friend or family member to drive you home after your appointment.
Does inhaling nitrous oxide really make you laugh? Most likely you won’t giggle throughout your dental procedure, but laughing gas does calm your nervous system, helping you feel relaxed. Some describe its effects as a tingling sensation or a happy, euphoric feeling, which can, understandably, make you feel like laughing.
Receiving laughing gas at the dentist is simple. At the start of your dental appointment, you’ll inhale nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen through a mask fitted over your nose. You’ll start to feel calm and more relaxed in about 3-5 minutes. Your Shoreline dentist customizes your level of nitrous oxide so you’re optimally comfortable from beginning to end. Laughing gas at the dentist is a mild form of sedation, so you’re completely awake and able to communicate with us whenever you need.
How long does laughing gas last?
Nitrous oxide cycles through your body efficiently which is why you inhale it throughout your dental treatment and not just at the start. Once your treatment is done, you’ll breathe in pure oxygen for about five minutes to flush the nitrous oxide out of your lungs, avoid side effects, and refresh yourself.
Laughing gas dissipates quickly, so you can drive yourself home with 100% clarity if it’s the only type of dental sedation you used during your appointment. You might need to wait in the waiting room for a few minutes to ensure you’re ready to go about your day safely. Rest assured, our Shoreline team keeps a close eye on you and lets you know when it’s safe to leave.
Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?
Patients interested in dental sedation often ask us, “Is nitrous oxide safe?” Yes! It leaves your system quickly, and without any long-term effects. However, if you didn’t inhale enough oxygen at the end of your dental appointment, you might experience temporary side effects like:
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
Laughing gas for children is usually safe and is often the preferred type of dental sedation because it’s mild. Talk with your child beforehand about how it’s administered — some kids might feel claustrophobic, nauseated, or uncomfortable with wearing the mask.
Some patients are advised not to use laughing gas. Using nitrous oxide might not be for you if you are in the first trimester of pregnancy, have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase or a cobalamin deficiency, have mental health or substance abuse issues, or are undergoing treatment using bleomycin sulfate.
Dental Sedation + Our Comfort Menu For Total Relaxation
Your comfort is a priority at Shoreline Dental Studio and dental sedation is one way we ensure every visit is positive. You can even combine oral sedation or laughing gas with services from our signature comfort menu so you feel even more at ease. An iPod with soothing music? How about a blanket to feel secure and cozy? Or a neck pillow? Our compassionate team has what you need for a stress-free dental experience.
Get Complimentary Dental Sedation During Our Sedation Summer Promo
So how much does dental sedation cost? Good news! From July 1 to September 30, 2022, dental sedation is complimentary at our Orange County offices for qualified patients.
If you’ve been putting off a dental procedure because of dental anxiety, book your appointment today to take advantage of this $495 value and receive comfortable, anxiety-free dental treatment.