Relaxing Dental Sedation in Monroe, WA

Do you find yourself feeling extremely anxious before your dental appointments? Dental anxiety is extremely common, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Whether you always feel anxious about your dental visits or you have a particularly anxiety-inducing treatment coming up, our team would be happy to help. Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment or learn more about our sedation options.

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woman receiving dental sedation

What’s the difference between nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation?

Nitrous oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas,” is a mild sedative administered through a small mask placed over the nose. It induces a sense of calmness and relaxation while allowing patients to remain conscious and responsive throughout their procedure. Nitrous oxide is fast-acting, with effects typically wearing off quickly once the mask is removed, making it a convenient option for shorter dental appointments.

Oral conscious sedation involves the administration of a sedative medication taken orally before the dental procedure. The medication induces a deeper level of sedation, often causing patients to feel drowsy or groggy. While patients remain conscious and able to respond to verbal commands, they may not remember much of the procedure afterward. Oral conscious sedation is typically recommended for patients with moderate to severe dental anxiety or for longer and more complex dental treatments.

smiling man

Can I drive after receiving dental sedation?

While the effects of nitrous oxide typically wear off pretty quickly after the mask is removed, patients may still feel a bit lightheaded or groggy for a while. As a precaution, patients who have received nitrous oxide are welcome to wait in our lobby for as long as they want before driving home, especially if they still feel any lingering effects. The effects of oral conscious sedation may last longer, and patients might feel drowsy or disoriented for several hours after their procedure. Because of this, patients who receive oral conscious sedation are required to arrange for someone to wait in our office and drive them home safely post-treatment.

woman slightly smiling

What are the side effects of dental sedation?

As with any type of medication, there are potential side effects associated with both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Common side effects of nitrous oxide may include nausea, dizziness, or headaches, although these are typically mild and short-lived. Oral conscious sedation may cause more pronounced side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, or temporary memory loss. However, these effects usually resolve on their own as the sedative wears off, and patients are carefully monitored throughout the procedure to ensure their safety and comfort.