Dental Sedation

Sedation Dentistry in San Clemente

Dr. Andrew Nguyen and the staff at Blue Wave Smiles understand that dental anxiety is a real concern for some patients. Whether you have avoided the dentist for years because of a bad experience when you were younger or you just fear that dental work will be painful, we empathize with your situation. Because we want to see all patients receive the dental care they need, we are pleased to offer both nitrous sedation and oral sedation.

Dental sedation enables you to feel relaxed throughout your procedure, even it it’s a lengthy one. Additionally, opting for a form of dental sedation minimizes discomfort and makes it possible to receive multiple treatments in a single appointment rather than having to schedule a separate appointment for each one.

Nitrous Oxide

You have probably heard of nitrous oxide by its alternative name of laughing gas. This is because you receive nitrous oxide by inhaling medication through a mask that Dr. Nguyen places over your mouth and nose. It can make some people feel so relaxed that they are quick to laugh or giggle. With each breath that you take, you inhale nitrous oxide and start to feel calmer and in better control of your anxiety.

Even though you will reach a point of relaxation and sleepiness quickly, you remain awake throughout the procedure. This makes it possible for you to communicate with Dr. Nguyen and his staff if necessary. It takes less than five minutes for you to feel completely sedated. Besides relaxation, one major benefit of sedation is that it makes time appear to pass faster than it actually does. A procedure that takes an hour to complete, for example, could feel like it’s complete in just a few minutes.

At the end of the procedure, we turn off the nitrous oxide while continuing to supply you with oxygen. This is important because it flushes the nitrous oxide out of your system. It should only take you a few minutes to feel back to normal once we complete the procedure.
Nitrous oxide may not be the best option if you feel that your dental anxiety is severe. We may also not recommend it if you have significant nasal congestion or feel a sense of panic about having a mask covering your nose and mouth. Please don’t hesitate to share any concerns with us and we will find the best possible solution to ensure that you receive necessary dental treatment.

Oral Sedation

If you opt for oral sedation, you will receive an anti-anxiety or sedative-hypnotic medication to take before your appointment. These medications bind to your brain’s fear receptors to prevent them from overstimulation during your dental appointment.

These type of medications will not only make you feel calm but also quite drowsy. Because of this, you will need to arrange for a ride home from your dental appointment since it takes some time for the drugs to work their way out of your body.

People with certain medical conditions should take caution when taking sedative medications, please feel free to discuss with Dr. Nguyen if sedation is right for you

Additionally, please let Dr. Nguyen know if you are currently pregnant before he prescribes a sedative medication for your dental procedure.

Who Can Benefit from Dental Sedation?

Anyone who struggles with dental anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder is a good candidate for either nitrous oxide sedation or oral sedation. These treatments can also be helpful for patients who have small mouths that normally become fatigued during dental work or those who have especially sensitive oral nerves. You might also want to consider dental sedation if you have been resistant to anesthesia in the past whether in a dental or medical setting.

Dr. Nguyen and his staff use dental sedation the most often for major procedures such as dental implants, tooth extraction, and root canals. It is much less common to use it for general cleaning, X-rays, and other routine types of dental treatment. However, we encourage you to speak to our staff if your dental anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder is significant enough to prevent you from receiving even basic dental care. We will always try to work with you in any way we can.

To learn more about each of our dental sedation options or to schedule an appointment, please contact Blue Wave Smiles at 949-498-6840 today.