Sedation Dentistry – Torrance, CA
Make Dental Visits More Relaxing & Comfortable
It’s no secret that most people don’t love going to dental appointments. Some feel anxious or stressed out in the examination chair, and others feel physically uncomfortable or sore. What if we were to tell you there is a way to make dental visits more relaxing and comfortable so you can easily get the dental care you need? With sedation dentistry in Torrance, we can do just that! Our talented team of dentists here at Blue Coast Dental Group are proud to offer a variety of dental sedation options to help even the most afraid patients care for their smiles. To learn more, don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Can Sedation Dentistry Help Me?
Wondering if sedation dentistry is right for you? One of our dentists would be happy to sit down and have a conversation with you about your concerns and needs. As long as you’re in good health, there’s a good chance that dental sedation can help you if you:
- Are afraid of the dentist or feel stressed during appointments
- Have had bad experiences at dental offices before
- Have a sensitive gag reflex or sensitive teeth
- Are resistant to numbing medications, or numbing medications aren’t very effective for you
- Have back, neck, spine, or other problems that make sitting in one position for a long time uncomfortable
- Have TMJ disorder or other jaw problems that make keeping your mouth open uncomfortable
- Are preparing to undergo a more complicated procedure or planning to have several treatments completed during one appointment
To ensure that sedation dentistry is a safe and effective choice for you, we’ll review your current health and medical history. This will also help us determine which type of dental sedation would work best for your specific needs and preferences. We offer three levels of sedation: nitrous oxide sedation, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide in Torrance is also commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” Considered the mildest form of sedation used by dentists, adults preparing to undergo a general dental checkup and cleaning, or minor procedure can benefit from its ability to produce a calming effect. As one of the safest methods of sedation available, its effects wear off quickly, allowing individuals to resume normal activity immediately following their appointment. To learn more about nitrous oxide and its many benefits, review the following material and contact us with any questions.
Who is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?
The only way to determine if you’re a qualified candidate for nitrous oxide sedation is to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dental experts. During this visit, we will not only perform a full examination but also discuss your medical history. It’s also important that we know which medications you are currently taking to prevent any potential negative reactions with the sedation.
The ideal candidate for nitrous oxide sedation may experience the following:
- A mild case of dental anxiety
- A fear of needles
- The inability to get numb from other forms of anesthesia
- Past traumatic experiences at other dental offices
- Increased dental sensitivity
- A strong or sensitive gag reflex
- A difficulty sitting in the dentist’s chair for prolonged periods of time
Nitrous oxide is generally safe, but there are some patients who should avoid it, including:
- People who are pregnant
- Individuals experiencing severe sinus congestion
- People who suffer from respiratory illness
- Those taking certain medications that can cause an allergic reaction to the nitrous oxide
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
This colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas is administered through a small mask that’s placed over the nose. Within moments of breathing in the nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture, you’ll begin to feel a lightness spread through your body as your worries melt away. It is normal for you to become lightheaded and feel as if you are floating. You will not be fully sedated but instead, remain aware of your surroundings just enough to respond to any cues or directions provided by our dental team.
At any point throughout your treatment, we’ll be able to adjust the level of sedation to ensure you are completely comfortable. Once the mask is removed, the effects wear off within minutes, meaning you’ll return to your normal level of consciousness and be able to go about your day as usual afterward.
Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide
It is necessary that you remain at the dental office until your sedation dentist in Torrance deems you are cleared to leave. Most cases do not involve any complications or issues; however, we must be certain you are feeling like your normal self before allowing you to return to work, school, or home. It is unlikely you’ll experience any negative reactions or issues once you leave our office but if your dentist provides special at-home guidelines for recovery, make sure to follow them accordingly.
Oral Conscious Sedation
With oral conscious sedation in Torrance, we’ll prescribe an anti-anxiety medication in the form of a pill. You’ll take it before your appointment, and you should already have begun to feel relaxed by the time you arrive. Oral conscious sedation achieves a deeper state of relaxation than nitrous oxide. You’ll remain conscious enough throughout your treatment to answer our questions and respond to basic instructions, but you are unlikely to remember anything about your appointment afterward.
What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?
A variety of medications may be used during oral conscious sedation. Some commonly prescribed ones include Valium, Ativan, and Halcion. Regardless of which type is used in your case, you will take the pill shortly before your procedure is scheduled to begin. Within 15 minutes or so, you should begin to feel its effects.
Patients tend to like oral conscious sedation because unlike nitrous oxide, it does not involve the use of a nasal mask. It is also completely needle-free, making it more comfortable than IV sedation for many patients.
How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?
Oral conscious sedation does not produce unconsciousness. Rather, it induces a deep state of relaxation. You might drift off to sleep, but it should be easy for us to awaken you with a light shake.
It may take several hours for the effects of oral conscious sedation to wear off, so you’ll need a trusted friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment, and you should plan to take it easy for the rest of the day.
Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?
As your sedation dentist in Torrance, we will help you determine whether oral conscious sedation is right for you. Generally speaking, it is suitable for patients who:
- Suffer from a degree of dental anxiety or fear
- Have a strong gag reflex
- Must undergo multiple or complex treatments
- Are not easily numbed by local anesthesia
- Have physical ailments that make it difficult to sit still in a treatment chair for an extended period of time
The most powerful form of sedation dentistry is IV sedation, where the anti-anxiety medication is delivered directly into the blood stream via a small needle in your hand or arm. Akin to nitrous oxide sedation, we’ll be able to closely monitor your wellbeing and make any adjustments to your level of sedation as needed throughout your treatment. IV sedation often makes patients feel as though they have slept through their appointment, but in reality, you will be conscious (but drowsy) the entire time. The amnesiac effects are similar to that of oral conscious sedation, so you probably won’t remember any of your treatment afterward. Additionally, you should plan to rest for at least 12 hours afterwards and have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
With the help of any one of our sedation dentistry options, we can make dental visits more relaxing and more comfortable! However, it’s likely that you still have some questions about dental sedation that you’d like answered before deciding if it’s right for you. That’s why we invite you to come visit us for a consultation , where we’ll be happy to walk you through all the information you’d like to know. In the meantime, we’ve gathered some of the most common questions we get about sedation dentistry below so you can learn more!
Which Type of Dental Sedation Is Best?
Each type of sedation dentistry offers its own unique benefits for certain patients and treatments. Therefore, there is no “best” type of dental sedation. The option that’s best for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your current health, the type of procedure you’re having, and your level of anxiety or physical discomfort. When you come in for a consultation, we’ll take all these factors and more into consideration before recommending which option is best for you.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
When administered by a highly trained professional like any of our experienced dentists, sedation dentistry is incredibly safe. Each of the three types of dental sedation we offer have been thoroughly tested for effectiveness and safety, and your level of sedation will be 100% personalized to meet your specific needs. Whichever option you choose, our team will monitor you closely throughout your entire procedure, and in the case of nitrous oxide sedation and IV sedation, we will be able to adjust your level of sedation at any point to ensure you are as comfortable and safe as possible.
Will Dental Sedation Put Me to Sleep?
After your treatment with sedation dentistry, especially with oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, you’re likely to feel very groggy. Plus, you likely won’t remember anything about your procedure afterwards! Despite all this, sedation dentistry does not put patients to sleep. You’ll remain conscious enough to respond to basic instructions and answer simple questions. Many patients end up feeling so relaxed with dental sedation that they drift off to sleep during their treatment, but they can be easily awoken with a gentle nudge. Essentially, you won’t be asleep, but instead you’ll be in a much safer state of dreamlike, semi-consciousness.
What Does Being Sedated at the Dentist’s Feel Like?
Naturally, what sedation dentistry feels like varies from patient to patient. However, this is how most patients report their experiences with the different types of dental sedation:
- Nitrous oxide sedation: Also known as laughing gas, this light form of dental sedation typically causes feelings of lightness, airiness, and calm euphoria. These effects are brought on within moments of inhaling the gas and dissipate just a few minutes after the mask is removed.
- Oral conscious sedation: This option achieves a deeper level of relaxation, and you will likely begin to feel groggy or zoned out before your treatment begins. Oral conscious sedation will take several hours to wear off, but you should be feeling back to normal the following day.
- IV sedation: As the most powerful form of dental sedation, IV sedation generally gives a feeling of heaviness in the limbs and that time is passing by faster than normal. This amplified feeling of relaxation will continue to last for the remainder of the day, so you should plan to rest.