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Conscious Sedation Dentistry

Conscious sedation dentistry is a way of putting you in a state of extreme relaxation without IV sedation. It’s designed to help patients who avoid the dentist, or have dental anxiety, for reasons including:

  • Fear of dentists/dental treatments
  • Fear or discomfort with noises and tastes associated with dental care
  • Fear of needles
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Trouble feeling numb after injections of Novocain
  • Dental problems that may require longer treatment time in the dentist’s chair

These are just a few of the reasons why people may be so nervous about visiting the dentist that they don’t ultimately seek treatment. Conscious sedation dentistry aims to change that.

Doctor Dounel and staff offers two different types of sedation:

  • Inhaled minimal sedation. A form of sedation in which nitrous oxide is administered through a special mask. You breathe nitrous oxide -- otherwise known as "laughing gas" -- combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Dr. Dounel can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill and it's usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you'll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.