Nitrous Oxide and IV Moderate Sedation offered for the anxious patient



Dental anxiety is a very real problem for many people. Poor dental experiences and instances of severe, long-lasting pain prevent can prevent people from taking necessary steps to fix their teeth. At Dr. Vessel’s office, we understand this fear. We provide a supportive environment centered around our vast expertise. We also offer several options for sedation, should a patient need it.

First, both the patient and doctor may decide only limited conscious sedation is needed. This type of sedation is nitrous oxide gas. Nitrous oxide removes anxiety known as the “butterflies.” The patient is relaxed but still aware of surrounding activity. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a mask over the nose so the patient can inhale the gas. The effect takes mere minutes. After the procedure is complete, that effect is easily reversed by inhaling pure oxygen. For a slightly deeper sedation and if the patient has someone to drive him or her home afterward, a “Valium-type” drug can be combined with the nitrous oxide.

We also offer moderate intravenous sedation, which keeps the patient in control of responses. However, it often leaves little memory of the procedure. Dr. Vessel has the training and the licensure to place an IV and administer drugs this way. This is considered “conscious” sedation because patients can still respond during the procedure, though they are in a state of reduced awareness.

IV sedation is more predictable than oral sedation because it is quickly and precisely titrated. When doing IV sedation, the patient is connected to monitors that constantly measure vital signs. Additionally, blood pressure is taken and recorded every five minutes. The medications most often used to sedate a patient are Midazolam/Versed (a benzodiazepine in the same class as Valium) and Fentanyl (an opiate-like drug). Other medications can be used during or after the procedure, such as Toradol for inflammation, NSAID for soreness and Diphenhydramine to prevent swelling.

The moderate sedation process requires a pre-sedation visit, where we measure vital statistics and review guidelines for pre- and post-sedation. We also require the patient have someone accompany them the day-of, as he or she should not drive for 24 hours.

Our Patients seek unconscious sedation dentistry due to their various needs.

Here are just a few:
• Dental fears and phobias
• No time for multiple visits
• People with special needs
• A bad gag reflex
• Difficulty getting numb
• Very sensitive teeth
• Hate the noise, smells and tastes associated with dental care
• Those that just want to be completely comfortable during their dental procedure

If you have severe anxiety about a dental procedure, we always invite patients to come speak with Dr. Vessel about sedation possibilities.