Two of the options patients have for sedation at the dentist include nitrous oxide and IV sedation anesthesia. These two options help different types of patients deal with varying levels of dental anxiety. In order to decide which is the best option for you, you need to learn how each one works as well as the differences between them.
Nitrous oxide is a mild type of sedative that is often provided in dental offices. Patients inhale the nitrous oxide and the result is that they feel more relaxed. This extra relaxation is enough to calm the nerves of many patients who have a little bit of anxiety about getting a dental procedure. Many people dread the experience of having dental procedures completed and have some fear about possibly experiencing pain. Nitrous oxide can help reduce that dread and fear enough to help patients make it through the procedure with minimal emotional distress.
IV Sedation Anesthesia
IV sedation anesthesia is a type of sedative that is offered in some dental offices and administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist. IV sedation can help patients who struggle with severe dental anxiety get the dental work they need. The level of anesthesia a patient gets during a procedure can be adjusted to ensure that he or she feels relaxed and free from anxiety. IV sedation anesthesia can help patients who have avoided the dentist for years get the help they need in just a few visits.
What is the difference?
There are several important differences between nitrous oxide and IV sedation anesthesia. The two types of sedation vary significantly in the level of sedation they provide. Nitrous oxide provides enough sedation to help mild anxiety while IV sedation can curb the anxiety of extremely fearful patients. The way the two types of sedation are administered is also very different. Nitrous oxide is inhaled while IV sedation is administered intravenously. The availability of the two options is also quite different. You can find nitrous oxide in the majority of dental offices around the US. IV sedation anesthesia is far less common because it requires the presence of an anesthesiologist in order to be administered.
Many people have previous exposure to the effects of nitrous oxide because it is commonly used in dental offices. If you know that nitrous oxide is enough to help you get past your anxieties then you do not need to explore the option of IV sedation anesthesia any further. However, if nitrous oxide has failed to help you in the past then IV sedation may be a better option. Your dentist can talk you through the two options and help you with the decision-making process. You can also read more about what IV sedation anesthesia has to offer here.