During dental procedures, some patients may experience fear and intense discomfort during treatments. At Dr. Ralhan Dental, your local dentist in Burlington and Oakville, we believe no patient should be afraid or uncomfortable when they visit our offices. We provide custom sedation and anesthesia options to help alleviate phobias or discomfort, and ensure patients feel no pain during their procedure.
For patients dealing with dentophobia, anxiety or pain, we can administer a combination of an oral sedative and nitrous oxide. Oral sedatives, which come in tablet or capsule, are taken under our dental team’s supervision prior to the patient’s procedure. The medication desensitizes the nerves, which numbs any sense of pain while the patient remains conscious. Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as ‘laughing gas’, can also be administered to increase sedative effects if needed.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) has been used for over 150 years for medical purposes and the oldest and most researched anaesthetic gas. It is mixed with oxygen, usually at a minimum of 30% however dosage is regulated for each individual patient. The patient will casually breathe the nitrous oxide through a face mask. As the patient begins to inhale, they will slowly begin to calm and relax, and senses will become more numb and little to no pain is felt. Once the flow of nitrous oxide is suspended, the effects wear off shortly. Therefore, it is a great option for patients who travel by car or need to perform other activities after their visit.
IV (intravenous) sedation is used for general anesthesia, as well as for conscious sedatives. IV sedation relieves patient’s dental anxiety and minimizes feelings of pain. Additionally, the patient remains in a semi-conscious state, so they retain the ability to communicate feelings of discomfort and can respond to simple instructions or questions. However, some IV anesthesia may cause patients difficulty remembering details of their dental work while under sedation.
General Anesthesia is often referred to as ‘sleep dentistry’, because it numbs the body and puts the mind to sleep. A patient may receive a combination of prescribed medication, which are determined based on the patient’s examination and medical history. This type of general anesthesia is usually reserved for patients undergoing intensive or complex procedure (ie. wisdom tooth extraction) or those who have severe anxiety or fear. General anesthesia has effectively been used in dentistry for decades, but with any surgical procedure there are always slight risks associated with general anesthesia use.