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Sedation Dentistry – Marietta, OH

Change Your View of Dentistry

Surgical care can be a complex procedure, especially when it involves delicate structures that impact oral health. Understandably, many patients feel frightened or anxious when faced with this kind of procedure, and the discomfort involved may be significant. That’s why our sedation dentist in Marietta, Dr. Jeff Lee, at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery offers a variety of options to enhance your comfort. From “laughing gas” to general anesthesia, Dr. Lee will provide you with the safest form of in-office sedation while taking into consideration your overall health and the complexity of the procedure. Your comfort is important to our team, and we strive to provide the excellent, caring approach you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about the various sedation solutions we can provide.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Male patient receiving nitrous oxide sedation in Marietta, OH

Nitrous oxide is commonly known as laughing gas because it puts patients in a relaxed, euphoric mood; some people might even find that they giggle more easily. Compared to other types of sedation, nitrous oxide is the mildest option available, and it’s often an excellent choice for those who only need a little help keeping their dental fears and anxieties under control.

Below, you can learn more about how nitrous oxide works and whether it’s truly the right choice for making your appointment a more positive experience.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Knobs for controlling oxygen and nitrous oxide levels for nitrous oxide sedation in Marietta, OH

Many different kinds of patients might benefit from having nitrous oxide sedation performed during their visit to Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery. You might be a potential candidate for nitrous oxide if:

  • You are afraid of needles.
  • You often experience anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist or other oral health specialists.
  • You have a stronger-than-normal gag reflex.
  • You have trouble sitting comforablty for long periods of time.
  • You have sensitive teeth.
  • You have a mouth that's resistant to numbing agents.

Keep in mind that certain patients might not be able to have nitrous oxide performed. In particular, it’s not recommended for anyone who:

  • Is currently pregnant.
  • Has sinus congestion.
  • Is suffering from a respiratory disease.
  • Is taking medication that might interact badly with nitrous oxide.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Woman having nasal mask placed for nitrous oxide sedation in Marietta, OH

At the beginning of your treatment, a small mask will be placed over your nose by one of our friendly team members. You’ll breathe the nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen through this mask. You’ll start to feel the effects after a minute or two, putting you in a relaxed state throughout your procedure. You might be light-headed or experience some tingling, but these side effects are typically nothing to worry about.

Nitrous oxide doesn’t put you to sleep, so you’ll be able to follow any instructions we give you while we’re working on your smile. We can adjust the flow of nitrous oxide and oxygen as needed at any point during your visit.

Once your treatment is complete, we’ll turn off the gas and remove the nasal mask. The effects of the nitrous oxide will dissipate quickly; it will only be a few minutes before you feel normal enough to drive yourself home.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Woman leaning back and smiling in chair at oral surgeon’s office

Nitrous oxide doesn’t require any recovery time since it only takes a few minutes to wear off once you stop inhaling it. Most patients are able to return to their normal routines right away, which is part of the reason why nitrous oxide is often a more convenient sedation option.

That said, even though you don’t need to do anything special to recover from nitrous oxide, we might give you some instructions for taking care of your mouth after specific procedures. Make sure that you follow these instructions carefully.

IV Sedation

Close-up of drip for IV sedation in Marietta, OH

Is your dental anxiety so severe that nitrous oxide isn’t enough to keep it under control? Or are you planning on having a particularly long procedure done? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then you may be a candidate for IV sedation. This particular type of sedation can help you feel so relaxed that it may feel like you were asleep during your treatment, even though it leaves you awake and able to follow any instructions that our team gives you.

What Is IV Sedation?

Gloved hand working with drip for IV sedation in  Marietta, OH

Unlike nitrous oxide sedation (which is delivered through your nose), IV sedation is administered straight to your bloodstream. The vein we use will normally be located on the top of your hand or in the bend of your arm. You won’t have to wait long for the sedative to take effect; in just a few minutes, you’ll feel completely at ease with your situation.

Compared to nitrous oxide, IV sedation can be used to create a much deeper state of relaxation. In fact, many patients don’t even remember the details of their procedure. Do be advised, though, that once your treatment is complete, you’ll need to rest for at least a day; it will take some time for the effects of the sedative to wear off.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IV Sedation? 

Young woman smiling while visiting oral surgeon

IV sedation is often a good fit for patients who are undergoing various kinds of oral surgery, especially if the procedure in question is particularly lengthy. We also highly recommend it if you’re afraid of dental care of any kind, if you gag easily, or if you find it difficult to keep your mouth open for long periods of time for any reason.

Before you can receive IV sedation, we’ll need to make sure that it’s safe for you. Our team will review your medical history to make sure there are no preexisting health conditions that could potentially disqualify you from having IV sedation performed. In general, it’s not recommended for people who are overweight, have certain allergies, or are pregnant. 

The Benefits of IV Sedation

Bearded man lying back and smiling while visiting oral surgeon

No matter your reason for having IV sedation performed, you’ll be able to enjoy the various benefits that it offers. For example:

  • You will typically start to feel the effects of IV sedation very quickly. This is thanks to the fact that the sedative is delivered straight to the bloodstream.
  • You’ll be kept safe and comfortable at all times. Our team can adjust the flow of the sedative at any point.
  • Since you likely won’t remember anything about your procedure, you won’t have to worry about any new memories that could contribute to your dental anxiety.
  • The sights and sounds associated with oral surgery won’t bother you while you’re under the effects of IV sedation.

General Anesthesia

Patient under general anesthesia in Marietta

In addition to offering nitrous oxide and IV sedation, Dr. Jeff Lee also offers general anesthesia in-office. This is ideal for patients who have severe dental fear or anxiety, or for those who are undergoing more extensive surgery, requiring them to be unconscious during the procedure. As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Lee has undergone training in anesthesiology during his residency program and has ample experience with providing this service for his patients.

How Does General Anesthesia Work?

a nurse adjusting an IV bag

General anesthesia in Marietta is administered while you’re in the operating room via an IV. Our team of knowledgeable professionals will have you hooked up to equipment that helps us monitor your vitals, like your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, so we can keep an eye on how you’re doing throughout the process. To ensure you remain comfortable throughout the entire treatment, we can also administer additional doses of sedative through a face mask.

Who is a Good Candidate for General Anesthesia?

an oral surgeon completing a procedure

General anesthesia is recommended in more extensive cases of dental fear and for patients who are undergoing longer, more complex surgeries. Some common situations in which we recommend this sedation method include:

  • Pain Management: Nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation are excellent at helping patients relax, but they aren’t used to help manage pain during and after treatments. In cases where this is necessary, we’ll likely recommend general anesthesia.
  • Lengthy & Extensive Procedures: If you require complex wisdom tooth extraction, are having a full mouth of dental implants placed, or require any other type of complex care, we may also recommend general anesthesia to help you remain still and comfortable while you’re in the operating room.
  • Severe Dental Fear: Dental phobia is a common barrier that keeps patients from receiving the dental care they need. General anesthesia can take the fear out of oral surgery and provide you with a positive experience.

General Anesthesia Aftercare Tips

a woman lounging on a couch

You’ll need to have a trusted friend, partner, or family member prepared to drop you off and pick you up from your appointment, as well as stay with you for the remainder of the day. It can take up to a day for the effects of general anesthesia to wear off, so you’ll want someone nearby to keep an eye on you and help take care of your basic needs. If you have any questions or concerns following your procedure, or about the side-effects of the anesthesia, please don’t hesitate to call our office.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Patient learning sedation dentistry eligibility in Marietta

When oral surgery is required, you can trust our team to recommend the appropriate form of sedation to keep you safe and comfortable throughout the procedure. Depending on the complexity of the treatment, general anesthesia may be best simply because of the duration; however, IV sedation and nitrous oxide may also be viable options. If you experience any of the following, there is a good chance you’ll be eligible to receive sedation dentistry:

  • You have phobias of the tools involved with the procedure, such as drills or needles
  • You have a strong, sensitive gag reflex
  • You have mild, moderate, or severe dental anxiety
  • You have a physical disability that makes it hard for you to sit for long periods due to discomfort
  • You had previous trauma at a dental office
  • You need multiple procedures performed during one appointment

It is essential that you share your medical history with our team to ensure that no complications or interactions occur.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Do you still have a few lingering questions on your mind about sedation dentistry in Marietta? We’ve got you covered! To start, our knowledgeable and friendly team can answer any specific questions you have over the phone or during your appointment. Plus, we’ve responded to some of the most common ones we hear from patients right here in case you’d prefer to do your research online first.

Is sedation dentistry worth it? 

Whether you struggle with dental-related anxiety or you need extensive dental work done, sedation dentistry can result in a much more comfortable and enjoyable visit. Plus, there are several other benefits to consider, including the fact that it allows more dentistry to be done in a single visit. So, many patients find that opting for even a mild form of sedation, like nitrous oxide, is well worth it.

Does dental sedation make you tell secrets? 

A common myth surrounding dental sedation is that the calming effects will act as a “truth serum,” causing you to share secrets that you would’ve otherwise kept private. Don’t worry – it’s nothing more than a myth. Even if you did share something personal, you can have peace of mind knowing that information will be kept within the walls of the treatment room.

Does dental sedation put you to sleep? 

It is possible that you will doze off during your treatment. That’s how powerful the calming effects are! Ultimately, the likelihood of you falling asleep will depend on the type of sedation. For example, patients who undergo oral conscious sedation will experience a deeper state of relaxation compared to those who opt for nitrous oxide. Regardless, you’ll still be able to respond to verbal commands and, if needed, gently be nudged awake.

Will I remember anything with dental sedation? 

Even if you stay awake during your treatment, it’s very likely that you won’t remember much of your time in the treatment chair. The more powerful the sedative, the less you’ll recall. The good news is that the anterograde amnesia will help ease your anxiety moving forward, allowing you to have a more positive association with your dentist’s office/taking care of your teeth.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance? 

Since sedation dentistry is considered a “luxury,” it’s typically not covered by dental insurance providers. Of course, there are some exceptions. If the procedure is especially complex or you have a disability that makes it impossible to receive the necessary care you need without it, then coverage may be available. If you aren’t familiar with your benefits, that’s okay. Our team would be more than happy to help you navigate your plan and understand the cost completely.