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Sedation and Relaxation in Enfield

Dental anxiety afflicts millions of people. They may have had a past bad experience with a dentist, or perhaps the idea of someone working on their teeth just makes them uncomfortable. We understand these concerns, and we always do our best to help our patients feel at ease during their appointments. That is why we are proud to serve as your sedation dentist in Enfield.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

happy dental patient

Nitrous oxide in Enfield, often referred to as “laughing gas” is a mild inhaled sedative. Almost as soon as you begin breathing it in, you will start to relax. Your dentist can adjust your level of sedation throughout your procedure so you stay calm and collected for the entire time. Nitrous oxide is generally safe for patients of all ages and wears off quickly enough that you will be able to drive yourself home from your appointment.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Female patient relaxing while wearing nitrous oxide nose mask

Nitrous oxide is a viable option for a wide range of patients, including those who:

  • Are nervous about getting injections (because nitrous oxide is inhaled, no needles are needed to administer it)
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex
  • Find it difficult to stay still
  • Are not easily numbed

Although nitrous oxide is suitable for most patients who require sedation, there are some people for whom it is not appropriate. For example, because it can present a degree of risk to a developing fetus, it is not used for pregnant women. Certain respiratory conditions, as well as severe nasal congestion, can also be contraindications for nitrous oxide.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Close-up of black control dials on nitrous oxide machine

At the beginning of your appointment, we will provide you with a nose mask, which will be connected to the machine that holds the nitrous oxide. We use valves to release a mixture of oxygen and sedative into your nose mask. As soon as you begin to breathe in the nitrous oxide, you are likely to start feeling a sense of lightness and euphoria. Some patients even say that they feel like they are floating. Once the nose mask is removed, the nitrous oxide should wear off almost as quickly as it took effect, so you can expect to be alert enough to drive yourself home.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Dental patient relaxing after treatment with nitrous oxide sedation

Even though the effects of nitrous oxide wear off within minutes of when it stops being administered, your sedation dentist in Enfield will still request that you wait in our office for a short time before you leave. This allows our team to monitor you and make sure that you are not having any severe reactions or side effects from the sedation (this is rare). Once we are sure that you are well enough to get behind the wheel of a car, you will be free to go.

The nitrous oxide itself should not stop you from resuming your routine activities immediately after your appointment. However, depending on the nature of the dental procedure you underwent, it may be wise to take some time at home to recover.

Oral Conscious Sedation


relaxed dental patient With oral conscious sedation, we provide you with a sedative in the form of a pill that you take shortly before your procedure starts. It induces a powerful feeling of relaxation. It may make you a little drowsy, but it is unlikely that you will fall asleep altogether; you should still be alert enough to interact with your dentist. After the pill wears off, many patients do not even remember what happened during their dental procedure.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Patient holding white pill for oral conscious sedation

Oral conscious sedation involves the use of a prescription medication that you swallow soon before your dental procedure starts. There are a range of medicines that can be used for this purpose, including Valium, Ativan, and Halcion. Your sedation dentist in Enfield will determine which specific drug is right for you.

Oral conscious sedation usually kicks in about 15 minutes after an individual takes the prescribed pill. The effects of the medication can linger for several hours — perhaps even up to an entire day.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

Male patient under the influence of oral conscious sedation

Oral conscious sedation does not knock you out. It may make you feel drowsy, but if you drift off to sleep, our team should find it easy to awaken you. You will remain alert enough to respond to any questions or instructions from your dentist. Because oral conscious sedation suppresses your ability to experience pain and anxiety, you can expect to be calm and relaxed throughout your appointment.

After your appointment, you will need someone to drive you home. When the effects of the sedation begin to wear off, you may not remember what happened during your procedure.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Dentist and female patient discussing sedation dentistry options

You may be a candidate for oral conscious sedation in Enfield if:

  • You struggle with dental fear or anxiety.
  • You have a highly sensitive gag reflex.
  • You must undergo a lengthy dental treatment (or multiple treatments during a single appointment).
  • You are not easily numbed by local anesthesia.
  • You had unpleasant dental experiences in the past that have left you feeling traumatized.
  • You have a health condition that makes it difficult for you to sit still during dental treatments.

Do You Need Sedation?

smiling male dental patientSedation dentistry is an advanced service that we commonly use to help patients who are experiencing anxiety about their treatment. If that is you, please don’t hesitate to let us know! We’ll discuss your sedation options and help you choose one that is appropriate for your circumstances.

However, sedation dentistry isn’t just for people who suffer from dental anxiety. It may also be suitable for you if:

Let Us Help You Relax!

relaxed womanBoth of the dentists in our practice are well-versed in sedation techniques, but our dedication to making you comfortable goes even further. We won’t treat you like you’re just another item to check off our list. Rather, we’ll take the time to explain any treatments we recommend and answer all of your questions. We even have intraoral cameras that will let you get a comprehensive look at what is going on in your mouth. Simply understanding your oral health and the reasons behind certain procedures may help you adopt a more positive view of dentistry.

Also, please let us know if there is anything else we can do to make your experience with us as positive and relaxing as possible. We’ll do our best to accommodate your wishes and help you conquer your dental anxiety!

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Woman with curious expression on her face

Our Enfield dental team wants to help you have a relaxing, positive oral care experience, so we invite you to talk to us about your sedation options. In the meantime, you may want to do some personal reading on sedation dentistry. Read on below to discover the answers to some frequently asked questions about it. If you do not see the information you were hoping for, give us a call so we can directly assist you.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Generally speaking, sedation dentistry is quite safe. Of course, there are some very minor risks, but severe adverse reactions are extremely rare. Plus, our team places a high priority on patient safety. We will thoroughly screen you before approving you for sedation, and we will carefully monitor you during your treatment so we can take fast action if complications arise.

Nitrous oxide is usually the lowest-risk form of sedation; it is approved for use in even very young children. Oral conscious is more powerful and has more contraindications, but it is also safe for the majority of patients.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe During Pregnancy? 

Local anesthetic is perfectly safe during pregnancy. It has been shown not to increase the risk of miscarriages or birth defects.

Other forms of sedation, however, are not recommended for pregnant individuals. The medications used for sedation may pass through the placenta and affect a developing infant. If you require a procedure that would normally prompt the need for sedation, we may recommend that you wait until after you give birth to undergo treatment.

Will I Remember Anything with Dental Sedation?

With nitrous oxide, you are likely to remember your procedure. However, you will probably be so relaxed in the treatment chair that your memories will be neutral or even pleasant.

Oral conscious sedation is more likely to cause mild memory loss. After the medication wears off, many patients have no recollection of what happened during their treatment. This is often viewed as a positive thing because it is common for people to dislike the sights, sounds, and sensations that are part of certain dental procedures.

What Does It Feel Like to Be Sedated at the Dentist?

The feelings you experience while under the influence of sedation will depend on which type of sedation is used. With nitrous oxide, you are likely to notice a light tingling sensation along with feelings of happiness. Some patients even get a case of the giggles (which is why nitrous oxide is sometimes called “laughing gas”).

With oral conscious sedation, your body may feel heavy and very relaxed. Time may seem to pass more quickly than usual. You are likely to become quite drowsy, but the drug will not cause you to become unconscious. If you drift off to sleep, it should be easy for our team to awaken you.

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