Sedation is required to help some patients get access to their most needed dental treatments. Most people believe sedation is only necessary for complicated dental procedures where it would be otherwise difficult for the patient to remain still if fully awake, but this is not always the case.

Sedation can help someone with dental anxiety remain calm and relaxed during the procedure. Or, it can help someone with motor disorders remain still while in the chair, something they might not be able to do without sedation. In any case, if your Denver dentist recommends sedation, it’s because it is truly necessary.

Still, some patients are understandably concerned about dental sedation, particularly its potential for long-term side effects. In this short blog, we will take a look at two common sedation methods, laughing gas and IV sedation, to provide you with more information on what you can expect.

What Is Laughing Gas?

Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is a mild sedative that’s inhaled by the patient shortly before the procedure. The dentist will place a mask on the patient’s face, and as they inhale the gas, they become more relaxed.

Nitrous oxide is known as laughing gas because it’s known to make patients feel euphoric and even giddy, especially children. Once the gas wears off, all the effects are gone, and people are fully awake and back to their regular selves.

What Is IV Sedation?

IV sedation is a method of administering a sedative to the patient. In this case, the sedation is given through an IV directly into a patient’s vein. While most people assume IV sedation will put them to sleep, this is not always the case.

The reason why a dentist might recommend IV sedation is that this method allows them to administer a constant flow of sedatives, ensuring the patient can remain relaxed throughout the entire procedure. It’s usually recommended for lengthier surgeries or dental procedures.

After the effects wear off, it is possible for the patient to feel slightly groggy, and even experience some headaches or nausea. These symptoms usually last for 1-2 days at the most, which is about how long it takes for the sedatives to fully flush themselves from the patient’s body.

Which Is the Safer Sedation Option?

Both laughing gas and IV sedation are safe, but one may be better than the other depending on the patient’s needs. The dentist makes the recommendation of sedation while taking into account the patient’s medical history, as well as the type of dental procedure they need, to ensure the best possible results.

When sedated, you will be closely monitored either by the dentist, or a trained professional in the case of IV sedation.

Poulos & Somers In Denver Is Here to Help

The Poulos & Somers dental team is at your service, with professional dental care that will restore the look and function of your smile. To get started, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Poulos, Dr. Nicholas Poulos, Dr. Ann Somers, or Dr. Kimberly Marshall in Denver.