Sedation Options

Here at Comfort Dental, we recognize that every patient is unique and pride ourselves in customizing your care accordingly. You may be anxious about dental care and prefer sedation beforehand, or you may be like most of our patients and prefer no sedation at all, opting instead for local anesthetic to numb the treatment area only.  Whatever your sedation preference, we encourage you to discuss this with us. We have a variety of sedation options for you to choose from, with one sure to meet your individual needs.

Your comfort is a top priority at Comfort Dental. You can count on us to do whatever is necessary to ensure your every patient experience is as comfortable and productive as possible. For instance, many patients find a mild sedative helps them relax and pass the time during longer procedures.

No matter your situation, we will provide you with the very best dental care while keeping you as comfortable as possible. Don’t let concerns about comfort or sedation, or any other dental phobia you may have, stand in the way of receiving the expert dental care you deserve.
Remember, at Comfort Dental, you don’t have to compromise comfort, care or results.

Types of Sedation

  • Nitrous Oxide: Also commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a fast-acting gas breathed through your nose. As you breathe the gas in, you will become very relaxed. Nitrous oxide is controllable and has a short recovery time. A local anesthetic will be used as usual to eliminate any pain.
  • Oral Sedation:  Oral medications such as Diazepam can be prescribed by Dr. Funderburk for use the night before your scheduled treatment. This ensures you sleep soundly without any anxiety about the following day. Oral medications can also be prescribed by Dr. Funderburk to be taken 30 minutes to an hour before your dental appointment, ensuring you have a more relaxed visit. Oral sedatives, like nitrous oxide, do not provide pain relief, so local anesthetic will also be used as needed.
  • Intravenous (IV) Sedation: This type of sedation is usually used for deeper sedation, or when oral sedation is not optimal. Like oral sedatives, intravenous (IV) sedation does not provide pain relief, so local anesthetic will also be used with this method of dental sedation. If you prefer this level of sedation, we will arrange for a nurse anesthetist to administer the sedation for you while Dr. Funderburk attends your dental needs.
  • General Anesthesia: This method of dental sedation refers to the use of anesthetic to render you unconscious. Unlike with the use of other sedation methods, you will be completely unaware of your surroundings, making the added use of local anesthetic unnecessary. If you require this level of sedation, for whatever reason, we will coordinate your care with the necessary specialists and facilities.

Degrees of Dental Sedation

The four dental sedation methods above provide varying degrees of sedation. These include:

  • Anxiolysis: This refers to methods of inducing “light sedation.” There are several forms of sedatives that result in anxiolysis; however, nitrous oxide, a form of inhalation sedation, is the most commonly used method to bring on this type of relaxation.
  • Conscious Sedation: Moderate dental sedation can refer to nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or IV sedation. These options can induce conscious sedation, which allows you to be awake and able to respond to commands, while in a state of moderate to extreme relaxation.
  • Deep Sedation: Deep sedation refers to a state between unconscious and conscious dental sedation. Under this sedation, you will not be able to respond to commands in a consistent manner and may need some assistance with breathing, in the event you’re are unable to keep your airway open. If you need this level of sedation, we will coordinate your care with the appropriate specialists.
  • Unconsciousness: General anesthesia causes the airway to close. As a result, you will need assistance with breathing and will not respond to commands, if you choose general anesthesia. This method of dental sedation is reserved for significant oral surgery and would usually involve a hospital setting.

Regardless of the type of sedation dentistry you receive, it’s important to have a responsible caregiver accompany you to your procedure (and drive you there if you must take oral medication before arriving for your appointment). Your appointed caregiver should also drive you home after the procedure is complete and stay with you for an additional two to four hours at home.