Sedation Dentistry Ahwatukee (IV vs Oral)

During any discussion about major dental treatments the question of sedation frequently comes up. Though local anesthesia (Novocain) is generally sufficient for maintaining comfort during your procedure we work with you to create a relaxing environment in several different ways. Among these are soothing décor, pillows, blankets, private music and videos. We also offer a variety of sedation options for patients who are experiencing a high level of anxiety about their procedure.

The purpose of any dental sedation method is to ensure that the patient is physically and emotionally relaxed during the procedure. When performing dental implant procedures it is normal to utilize one of several different sedation methods. The three methods most frequently used are nitrous oxide sedation, oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation. Please see an explanation of each method below.

Dr. Foroughi is a certified and trained in both Nitrous Oxide and Oral sedation and will help you determine the right sedation dentistry method for you.


Nitrous Oxide

Inhalation Conscious Sedation, Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Sedation also known as “laughing gas”. This is the most frequently used sedation method used in dentistry. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on their own. The patient will often fall asleep and experience some degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment. Inhalation Sedation has been used my dentists for many years.


Oral Sedation

Oral sedation or anxiolysis can provide a higher degree of sedation than nitrous oxide. As the name implies this is a medication that is taken by mouth just prior to your dental appointment. A variety of medications including Valium and Halcion may be used for this purpose. Oral sedation is quite effective for many people. However, because the effect of oral sedatives varies from patient to patient, Dr. Foroughi will discuss this option with you to determine if it is right for you.
Most or all of the restorative or surgical procedures can be completed comfortably with this option. There is an amnesiac effect of these medications – which means that you probably won’t remember much about the procedure and will have a positive treatment experience. However, because it is an oral dosage of medication it is difficult to predict the level of sedation you will feel. Many people will “sleep” through their procedure, while others may be reasonably aware of their surroundings yet relaxed enough to proceed. If you feel that you might be at risk of becoming anxious if not completely “asleep” then you can opt for the next level of comfort management.

This Oral Medication used for Oral Conscious Sedation in dentistry are from a group of drugs known as Benzodiazapines. Not only do these medications have a sedative effect they also have some degree of amnesic effect for most people. Patients remember little or nothing about their dental appointment.

Advantages to Dental Oral Sedation:

  • Easy to administer: Swallow a small pill
  • It is safe and easy to monitor
  • Works well for most people
  • Low Cost

Disadvantages of Dental Oral Sedation:

  • The level of Sedation is not easily changed
  • Someone must drive you to and from your dental appointment
  • There is no analgesic (pain relief effect)
  • What medications are used for Dental Oral Sedation?
  • The most common medication is Halcion (triazolam). Halcion provides a deep level of relaxation and amnesia effect.

IV Sedation

The sedative used provides deep relaxation. Applied intravenously, the sedative takes effect immediately, and we can administer more medication throughout treatment as needed to deepen the effect. The amnesia effect is virtually total so that there is no memory of treatment. If this the type of sedation needed, Dr. Foroughi will refer you to a dentist or specialist who is certified for IV Sedation.