At our office we offer what’s known as “minimal sedation”, others simply call it “anxiety-free dentistry”. This level of sedation (not to be confused with I.V. sedation or general anesthesia) can be very helpful in a variety of circumstances.

  • Anxiety is a common reaction of some people when the word “dentistry” is mentioned! Oftentimes this can be traced back to an unpleasant experience during childhood, though other factors can play a role as well.
  • Those with a strong gag reflex. With minimal sedation this reflex can often be reduced.
  • Patients with neck or back soreness who find sitting in a dental chair for any period of time uncomfortable. Those with jaw soreness. Often minimal sedation can help to relax the muscles and give patients a more comfortable experience.
  • If the procedure(s) entail multiple visits, and you would like to reduce the number of trips to our office, we can often utilize minimal sedation to get more work completed during a single visit.

For some people the use of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is an effective way to take the edge off of what they might otherwise perceive to be a stressful visit. Nitrous Oxide has the benefit of being a very safe method of reducing dental anxiety. It exists in the air we breathe every day, just in much lower concentrations than are effective for dental use. You’ll still be able to converse with us, but you’ll notice that the sounds and such that normally were cause for concern are now just “in the background”. In fact some people describe it as being quite relaxing. After the procedure is complete, and within a few minutes of discontinuing the gas, you’ll be back to 100% and be able to drive home.

Should we instead utilize an oral sedative such as Valium or Halcion, which are quite effective, you would then need someone to drive for you – as you’ll still be slightly sedated following the procedure.