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Sedation Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Oral sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are two sedative states which Dr. Houlihan can administer before your treatment: mild sedation and moderate sedation.
Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety or during longer procedures. Mild sedation can be in the form of nitrous oxide gas inhalation (laughing gas) or administered orally with medication.

You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients taking oral prescription medication typically recover from Anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete, and if using only nitrous oxide gas, typically can return to your normal activities immediately. Moderate Sedation — Moderate sedation is used for patients with moderate to high dental anxiety, or for patients that have difficulty getting numb, have a heavy gag reflex, or during longer procedures. Many times what may take multiple appointments can be completed in a single visit. With oral conscious sedation, you will be given a prescription medication to take the night before your treatment so you can get a good night’s rest. You'll have a companion bring you to the office where you will take a second sedative medication which will allow you to remain awake throughout your procedure, but in a deep state of relaxation. You will likely feel like you were sleeping through the procedure. After the procedure your friend or companion will take you home will you will rest comfortably.