Anesthesia Options

Intravenous
Sedation (“Twilight Sedation”)

Our office offers our patients the option of Intravenous
Sedation or Dental Intravenous Anesthesia or to some it is referred to as
“Twilight Sedation” for their dental treatment. Intravenous Sedation or “twilight
sleep” helps you to be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental
procedures. Your treatment can be completed under intravenous sedation.
Intravenous sedation or IV sedation (twilight sedation) is designed to better
enable you to undergo your dental procedures while you are very relaxed; it
will enable you to tolerate as well as not remember those procedures that may
be very uncomfortable for you. IV sedation will essentially help alleviate the
anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be asleep but you
will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep a
twilight sleep.

If you choose the option of intravenous sedation your IV
sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by Dr. Marshall therefore
eliminating the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an
operating room or same day surgical facility.

How is the IV Sedation Administered?

A thin needle will be introduced into a vein in your arm or
hand. The needle will be attached to an intravenous tube through which
medication will be given to help you relax and feel comfortable. At times a
patient’s vein may not be maintainable, in these situations the medications
will be administered and the needle retrieved – both scenarios will achieve the
same desired level of conscious sedation. Once again some patients may be
asleep while others will slip in and out of sleep. Some patients with medical
conditions and/or on specific drug regimens may only be lightly sedated and may
not sleep at all.

The goal of IV sedation is to use as little medication as
possible to get the treatment completed. It is very safe, much safer than oral
sedation. With IV sedation a constant drip is maintained via the intravenous
tube. At any time an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the
medications if necessary. Along with IV sedation there are also other different
levels of sedation available to you in our office. There is nitrous oxide
analgesia.

Nitrous
Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet smelling, non irritating, colorless
gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation
in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70%
oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide. Patients are able to breathe on
their own and remain in control of all bodily functions. The patient may
experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what
happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at
    any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a
    “hangover”.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no
    side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective
    in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the
    brain within 20 seconds. In as few as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain
    killing properties develop.

Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide

Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous
oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems,
M.S., a cold or other difficulties with breathing. You may want to ask your dentist for a
“5 minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation
method before proceeding.