Millions of people around the country avoid going to the dentist due to fear or anxiety. Fortunately, Loftus Dental in Rapid City offers a solution in the form of sedation dentistry. We offer several different levels of sedation to fit our patients needs and desires.
Also known as “laughing gas,” Nitrous Oxide is a form of sedation given to patients in the form of a gas that a patient breathes. Nitrous oxide will not put a patient to sleep but is intended to reduce anxiety and cause calm and comfortable relaxation. Patients usually feel a sort of euphoria, tingling in their extremities, and heaviness in their legs. The effects of nitrous oxide quickly dissipate once it is turned off and the patient is then able to function normally and return to everyday activities.
Minimal sedation, also known as oral sedation, is a form of sedation in which the patient takes a pill that is swallowed or placed under the tongue. Usually a sedative is prescribed the night before the procedure, then immediately before the procedure. Directly prior to the procedure, the patient is given one or two more pills and the sedation begins to take effect within 10 to 20 minutes. Minimal sedation or oral sedation will not put a patient to sleep but will cause relaxation and a calm feeling and in most cases it will cause anterograde amnesia which means the patient will not remember much of the procedure.
However, since the medication is given in the form of a pill, it is difficult to adjust or predict the level of sedation a patient will experience and therefore is less predictable than IV sedation or deep sedation. The patient’s vital signs are monitored during oral sedation and the patient must return to a level of awareness of their surroundings before they leave the office. Most patients feel sedated for the remainder of the day, will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult and will not be able to return to normal activity for 24 hours.
IV sedation or moderate sedation is also offered to patents at Loftus Dental in Rapid City. Dr Jeff Loftus holds a moderate sedation permit which allows him to provide sedation and other medications through an IV for patients who desire a deeper and more predictable level of sedation. During the IV sedation appointment, the patient will have an IV placed which will deliver fluids as well as a sedative in controlled doses to maintain the desired level of sedation throughout the appointment. Since the sedative is given through an IV, sedation takes effect more quickly and the level of sedation can be more effectively maintained. Pain medication, antibiotics, and other medications can be quickly and effectively administered through the IV during the procedure. IV sedation causes a relaxed, calm feeling and anterograde amnesia where the patient will not remember the procedure. The patient’s vital signs will be monitored throughout the entire procedure and the patient must return to a level of awareness of their surroundings before they can leave the office. Recovery from IV sedation is usually shorter than with minimal sedation however the patient will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult the remainder of the day and not return to normal activities until the following day.
Minimal oral sedation and Moderate IV sedation require a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and preparation the day before the appointment. Please call our Rapid City Loftus Dental office to discuss your sedation dentistry options.