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IV (Intravenous) sedation and inhalation sedation (often using nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas) are two common methods used in sedation dentistry to help patients relax and feel comfortable during dental procedures.

  • Administration: Medication is delivered directly into the bloodstream through a vein, typically in the arm or hand.
  • Effects: This method induces a deeper level of sedation compared to inhalation sedation. Patients may remain conscious but often feel very relaxed and may have limited memory of the procedure.
  • Benefits: IV sedation allows for precise control over the level of sedation, making it suitable for patients with moderate to severe dental anxiety or those undergoing complex procedures.
  • Safety: IV sedation is administered and monitored by trained professionals to ensure patient safety throughout the procedure.
  • Administration: The patient inhales a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask placed over the nose.
  • Effects: Nitrous oxide induces a mild sedative effect, helping patients feel relaxed and less anxious while remaining conscious. It also has pain-relieving properties.
  • Benefits: Inhalation sedation is fast-acting and allows for a quick recovery, as the effects wear off soon after the mask is removed. Patients can often drive themselves home after the procedure.
  • Versatility: Nitrous oxide sedation is suitable for patients of all ages and can be adjusted to meet individual comfort levels. It is commonly used for routine dental procedures and for patients with mild to moderate anxiety.

Both IV sedation and inhalation sedation are valuable tools in sedation dentistry, offering patients options to ensure a comfortable and stress-free dental experience. The choice between the two methods depends on factors such as the patient’s level of anxiety, the complexity of the procedure, and any medical considerations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients relax and feel comfortable during dental procedures. It is particularly useful for those who experience anxiety or fear of dental visits, have a low pain threshold, strong gag reflex, or require extensive dental work. There are various levels of sedation, ranging from minimal sedation, where patients are relaxed but awake, to general anaesthesia, where patients are completely unconscious. Common methods include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedatives and intravenous (IV) sedation. Sedation dentistry aims to provide a stress-free, pain-free experience, ensuring patients can receive necessary dental care without discomfort or anxiety.

Yes, sedation dentistry is generally safe when administered by trained and experienced professionals. Dentists and their staff are specifically trained to use sedation techniques and monitor patients’ vital signs throughout the procedure to ensure their safety. Prior to sedation, a thorough medical history and assessment are conducted to identify any potential risks or contraindications. Different types of sedation, from minimal to deep, are carefully selected based on the patient’s health, anxiety level, and the complexity of the dental procedure. While there are some risks and potential side effects, these are rare and can be managed effectively with proper monitoring and care. Overall, sedation dentistry is a safe and effective option for patients needing help to comfortably undergo dental treatments.

Sedation dentistry is particularly beneficial for patients with dental anxiety or phobia, as it helps them feel relaxed and comfortable during procedures. It is also ideal for individuals with a low pain threshold, a strong gag reflex, or those requiring extensive or multiple treatments in a single visit. Additionally, patients with special needs or developmental conditions that make dental care challenging can greatly benefit from sedation, as it allows them to receive necessary treatments in a more manageable and stress-free manner. Overall, sedation dentistry ensures that these patients can maintain their oral health with minimal discomfort and anxiety.

Yes, it is important to bring someone with you to a sedation dentistry appointment. Sedation can leave you feeling drowsy and disoriented, affecting your ability to drive or perform tasks safely. Having someone accompany you ensures you get home safely and can assist with any immediate post-procedure care. They can also help you remember and follow any post-procedure instructions provided by the dentist. This support is crucial for your safety and recovery.

Sedation dentistry is highly effective in providing a relaxed and comfortable experience for patients undergoing dental procedures. It effectively reduces anxiety, controls pain, and suppresses the gag reflex, making it easier for patients to receive necessary treatments. Sedation allows for longer or multiple procedures to be completed in a single visit, enhancing time efficiency. Most patients report little to no memory of the procedure and a significant reduction in fear and discomfort, leading to better overall dental health outcomes.

What you remember during a dental procedure can vary depending on several factors, including the type and level of sedation used, your individual response to sedation, and the complexity of the procedure. It’s essential to discuss your preferences and concerns with your dentist or healthcare provider before the procedure so they can tailor the sedation approach to your needs. They can also provide guidance on what to expect in terms of memory and recovery based on the type of sedation used.



“When another dental practice recommended that one of my teeth be extracted, I approached Dr Naomi Alesbury for a second opinion. After a thorough examination, Naomi filled and saved my tooth. Very satisfied with the advice, care and treatment I received from Naomi – and in particular with keeping my (elderly) tooth. I’m now a new patient at Norfolk House Dental Care.”

Sandra T

“just wanted to say a massive thanks for how i have been treated by all the staff at Norfolk House, i am a very nervous patient that needs sedation, the whole process was so well managed and the sedation made it possible for me to get the treatment i needed after many years avoiding the dentist. The whole procedure was explained to me and i was made to feel relaxed enough to have the work done. Highly recommend Naomi and all the team.”

Sharon B

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Why Choose Us

A few reasons why we believe Norfolk House Dental Care is the dental practice for you.

  • Talented dentists – Over 100 years combined clinical experience.
  • Affordable health plans – We have a range of payment options for both adults and children, including the Norfolk House Dental Care Plan or Fee per Item.
  • Modern facilities – Latest dental equipment designed for the comfort and convenience of all our patients.
  • Nervous patients – Gentle sedation options available for anxious patients.

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