Sedation Dentistry (Sleep Dentistry)

If you’re anxious about dental visits, Bite Dental has the solution.

For many patients, a visit to the dentist is a nerve-wracking experience. Often, anxiety stems from a distant childhood memory. Sometimes it is simply “fear of the unknown”. For those patients who need a little help to calm the nerves before or during an appointment, Bite Dental offers conscious sedation using either nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) or oral sedative pre-medication.

Sedation Dentistry: Our Toronto Clinic Cares About Your Comfort

Nitrous Oxide Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and administered to the patient via a nasal mask. Patients breathe in and out normally as the concentration of nitrous oxide gas in the mixture is adjusted to a comfortable level. The patient will remain awake and responsive, but anxiety levels will typically diminish. Patients often become euphoric and carefree, and feel much less inhibited about receiving treatment. Many patients report that appointments seem shorter than they actually were. At the end of the appointment, the flow of nitrous oxide is discontinued and 100% oxygen is given. During this short time, the effects of nitrous oxide cease and the patient quickly recovers. Many patients even return to work right after their appointment!

Oral Sedation Dentistry

For patients requiring a slightly greater level of sedation, Bite Dental in Toronto offers pre-medication with oral sedatives. Typically, an appropriate dose of a medication called triazolam is given in-office about an hour prior to the appointment. This medication is similar to a sleeping pill in that it produces a state of drowsiness along with a reduction in anxiety. Some patients will doze off during treatment, although it is important to note that consciousness is maintained, allowing the patient to remain responsive. Another benefit of oral sedation is that it tends to produce an effect called amnesia, whereby patients often have difficulty recalling details of the treatment – many cannot remember a thing!

Breathing and heart rate are monitored throughout with a device called a pulse oximeter. Following the appointment, a responsible adult must accompany the patient safely home, and the patient must not drive or work until the following day.

Contact our Toronto dental clinic today to learn more about sedation dentistry, and how it could make your visits more comfortable.

Are you a candidate for sedation dentistry?

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Almost anyone – adult, teen or child – is a candidate for sedation dentistry. It’s particularly useful for people with a fear of dental visits, or people with a history of anxiety/panicking, but it’s also preferred by people who would simply rather not be “aware” during a procedure.