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Sedation Dentistry – Flint, MI

Feel At-Ease While
You’re in the Treatment Chair

Many adults suffer from dental anxiety or have a fear of the sights and sounds at the dental office. This prevents some people from receiving necessary preventive care and treatments to keep their oral health on the right track. At Healthy Smiles Dental Care, we aim to accommodate all of our patients and create a relaxing and welcoming environment. For our patients with dental phobias, we offer oral conscious and nitrous oxide sedation dentistry in our Flint, MI dental office to help you feel more comfortable in the treatment chair.

Why Choose Healthy Smiles Dental Care for Sedation Dentistry?

Fearful patient in need of sedation dentistry covering her mouth

Oral Conscious Dental Sedation

Man taking oral conscious dental sedation pill

Many of our patients at Healthy Smiles Dental Care have more acute anxiety about getting dental work done. For them, oral conscious sedation could be a great solution! This form of sedation is administered via a prescribed pill before you step into our office. Within minutes, you’ll begin feeling more relaxed and confident. If you want to know more about this method of sedation dentistry, read more below.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

patient in flint taking oral conscious sedation medication

Oral conscious sedation, or OCS, uses anti-anxiety medication like Valium, Ativan, or Halcion to quickly alleviate nervousness, anxiety, and fear. The medicine does this without needles, masks, or other equipment that may trigger anxiousness in some patients. We’ll usually prescribe the pill for you to take before you come in for your procedure. Once taken, it should kick in after around 15 minutes and will last for several hours, allowing our team plenty of time to perform your treatment.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

patient in flint asking about oral conscious sedation

Once your medication takes effect, you’ll feel deeply relaxed but still conscious and able to respond to conversation. Your muscles will release tension, your breathing may become slower, your heart rate will decrease, and your senses will dull. Some patients also experience drowsiness. For this reason, our team recommends that a trusted friend or family member drive you to and from your appointment.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

patient in flint who wants oral conscious sedation

When you come in for your consultation with our team, we’ll be able to determine if oral conscious sedation might be right for you. In general, you might be a good candidate for our OCS medication if you:

  • Suffer from mild to moderate dental anxiety or phobia.
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex that prohibits treatment.
  • Are resistant to local anesthetics and can’t get numb.
  • Have a tendency to cancel or reschedule appointments due to nervousness.
  • Are having a longer procedure or multiple treatments performed.
  • Have had frightening or poor dental experiences in the past.
  • Can’t be still in the dental chair to the point where it interferes with treatment.

Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation

Woman with nitrous oxide dental sedation mask in place

Nitrous oxide sedation is a simple and easy method that we can administer in-office to help you feel more relaxed. We’ll place a small nose mask on your face that will allow you to breathe in the odorless and colorless gas. Within a matter of minutes, you’ll begin to feel a euphoric wave wash over you. Once your treatment is complete, we’ll remove the mask. As soon as the effects wear off, which usually happens within three to five minutes, you’ll be able to proceed with your day as you normally would.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Is sedation dentistry safe? 

Rest assured that sedation dentistry is safe and harmless for most dental patients. Your teeth, gums, and the rest of your body will be fine if you receive it.

Firstly, today’s dental sedatives are benign and shouldn’t cause health concerns. Most people handle nitrous oxide – the most common sedation option – with no issues at all. Similarly, oral conscious sedation rarely ever has any side effects for patients. Dentists tailor the sedative amount so you’ll stay safe during the treatment process.

Dentists will also screen you before treatment when sedatives play a role. In particular, they’ll review your medical history and medications to learn about possible negative interactions. The dental team should also monitor your vitals to ensure your safety.

What does it feel like to be sedated at the dentist? 

How dental sedation feels depends on the sedative you receive. Based on which kind a dentist gives you, your treatment experience can vary a bit.

For example, take nitrous oxide. Inhaling this gas makes most feel relaxed, light, and euphoric. The sedative can also cause patients to feel tingling in their arms and legs. Of course, the so-called “laughing gas” may lead to fits of giggles as well.

Oral conscious sedation often results in a greater sense of calm and ease. In fact, some patients report feeling woozy while it works. The medicine can also speed up your perception of time.

How long does dental sedation last? 

As you may’ve suspected, how long sedation lasts depends on the sedative. Its effects can be short-lived or persistent based on the specific medicine used.

Nitrous oxide sedation is famous for wearing off in little time. Once you stop inhaling the gas for five minutes, its effects fade with no lingering drowsiness. You should even be well enough to drive yourself home or return to work.

In contrast, oral conscious sedation has effects that can last the whole day. The pill needs roughly twenty-four hours to work its way through your system. So, avoid driving or using heavy machinery during that period.

Does dental sedation put you to sleep? 

While some call it “sleep dentistry,” dental sedation shouldn’t put you to sleep. The process leaves patients awake and alert enough to respond to a dentist’s guidance.

Of course, your memories may get fuzzy while you’re sedated. This effect can make you feel like you’ve slept even when you didn’t. Oral conscious sedation even causes grogginess in some people, leaving your mind muddled as a result. Still, you ought to be awake during our sedation work.