Stay Safe & Relax In The Dentist’s Chair
Laughing gas sedation uses a mixture of nitrous oxide, which is sent directly into your lungs through a comfortable nose mask. The gas will be absorbed into your bloodstream through the tiny blood vessels in your lungs, and take effect almost immediately.
You will feel safe, calm, and comfortable, but will be completely conscious and able to respond to commands. You may even find your situation to be funny or strange, which is why nitrous oxide is called “laughing gas.”
Laughing gas wears off about 5 minutes after your procedure ends, and it does not have any serious after-effects. You may feel a little confused, disoriented, or nauseated, but this will pass quickly. You can drive yourself home or even go back to work after laughing gas sedation.
Oral conscious sedation uses a pill-based sedative. You’ll take the pill about 60-90 minutes before your appointment at our office. You may be asked to fast (avoid eating and drinking) for a few hours before your appointment at our Colorado Springs office, depending on your situation.
Once the medicine takes hold, you will feel very drowsy and groggy. You may even fall asleep and forget what happens during your procedure at Tuttle Family Dentistry. However, you will still be conscious, and you can respond to commands or be woken up if this is necessary.
Yes. Every type of dental sedation is safe, and serious complications of any type are extremely rare. And Tuttle Family Dentistry, we take your safety very seriously. Before you’re approved for sedation, you’ll discuss your health history, medications you’re taking, and other details with Dr. Colt or Dr. Tuttle. This ensures you can be sedated safely.
And throughout the sedation process, your vital signs will be closely monitored by our team to ensure your safety throughout your entire procedure. When you work with the team at Tuttle Family Dentistry, you’ll be in good hands.
For nitrous oxide sedation, there’s nothing special you have to do. Just dress comfortably and come to our office in Colorado Springs to get the care you need. It’s that simple.
Pill-based oral conscious sedation is a bit more complex and requires some additional preparation. You usually will need to avoid eating for 6-8 hours before your appointment, and you should only drink clear liquids until 2 hours before your appointment. Depending on the drugs used, you may need to take a pill the night before your procedure, as well as about 60 minutes before the appointment.
You will need someone to bring you to and from Tuttle Family Dentistry, too. The effects of oral conscious sedation last a lot longer than nitrous oxide, and will impair your ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. Bring a responsible adult like a parent, partner, or a friend who can drive you home after your procedure.
This depends on the type of sedation you get. Let’s start with nitrous oxide sedation. Most patients feel very euphoric when they get nitrous oxide sedation. You will feel happy, comfortable, and a bit disconnected from the things that are happening around you. You might even find the situation funny, which is why nitrous oxide is also called “laughing gas.”
However, you will remain fully conscious during nitrous oxide sedation. You won’t feel any feelings of pain or anxiety, but you will still be aware of your surroundings. This makes it a particularly good option if you don’t like the idea of sleeping through your appointment.
Oral conscious sedation is quite a bit different. Similarly to nitrous oxide, you will begin to feel calmer and less anxious as the drugs take effect. But unlike laughing gas, you also will feel really tired and groggy. In fact, it’s quite common for patients to fall asleep during their procedures.
You won’t be unconscious, though, just sleeping. You can be woken up and you can still respond to commands, if needed. Another common effect of oral conscious sedation is “anterograde amnesia.” This means you may forget most or all of what happened during your procedure.
Again, this depends on the method of sedation used. Nitrous oxide wears off within about 5 minutes of your treatment. You may feel a bit of a headache, or experience some dizziness or nausea for a bit, but you can drive yourself back home and get back to your day-to-day routine.
This is not the case with oral conscious sedation. Its effects last up to 4-6 hours after your procedure, and sometimes may linger for up to 24 hours. You will need someone to drive you back home and care for you as you recover. You will need to plan to take the day off of work or school, and rest and relax as your sedation wears off.
Oral conscious sedation has much longer after-effects than nitrous oxide sedation. Your reflexes and decision-making abilities will be impaired for up to 4-6 hours or longer, so you cannot drive yourself home. You will need to bring someone with you to our office who can drive you home and make sure you get home safely.
As you recover and the sedation wears off, you may feel nauseated, confused, dizzy, or have dry mouth. You may also feel drowsy and fatigued. Once you get home, take it easy for the rest of the day and relax. As time goes on, these effects will fade.
IV Sedation is a deeper form of sedation compared to oral conscious sedation. It is administered through an IV that is hooked up to a patient’s vein. This enables the onset of effects to kick in pretty fast, within about 20 minutes. However, unlike general anesthesia, patients do not need breathing assistance.
IV sedation puts you into a semi-conscious state, often referred to as twilight sleep. Depending on the dosage, you may be awake or fall asleep. However, you will be aware of your surroundings. We will be able to wake you easily by giving you a light shake, so you can readily respond to instructions.
You won’t remember the procedure afterward and will feel very relaxed and sleepy while sedated. IV sedation is very effective at relieving dental anxiety, as it puts patients at ease and provides a sense of deep relaxation. It is also highly effective at alleviating pain.
Unlike milder sedatives such as nitrous oxide, IV sedation does not wear off right away. You may need to be monitored for an hour or two after your appointment before you can go home. The hangover effects of IV sedation, such as grogginess, headaches, nausea can last for up to 24 hours so you will not be able to drive home.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and monitor you for the rest of the day. For the next 24 hours, you cannot drive or operate heavy machinery. We recommend that you avoid dangerous activities like trying to cook, strenuous exercise, or carrying heavy items. Rest for the rest of the day you will be able to resume your normal activities within 24 hours.
IV sedation utilizes the same type of medication as oral conscious sedation, but delivered directly into your bloodstream through an IV. This type of sedation takes effect almost instantaneously, and results in a deeper state of sedation. In fact, many patients actually fall asleep during their treatment, but are woken easily and are able to respond to questions or commands.
After your procedure, you may feel some lingering effects of the sedative for 4-6 hours, or even a little longer. You also may be unable to remember your treatment, which can be helpful for those who experience anxiety when they go to the dentist. You will not be able to drive yourself home after you receive IV sedation, so you’ll need to arrange for a ride to and from our office on the day of your appointment.
Reduces Dental Anxiety - The Solea laser is super helpful in treating patients with dental anxiety, especially children. The laser is completely painless and eliminates the need for needles so patients are less afraid and realize there’s nothing to fear from the procedure, as there will be no discomfort, bleeding or inflammation.
Preserves More of the Tooth Structure - We can be more precise thanks to the Solea laser and this enables us to remove a smaller amount of tooth enamel in preparation for dental fillings and other restorations. This keeps your healthy teeth intact.
Eliminates Pain Sensation - Because the laser is painless, there’s no need to administer local anesthesia or other sedatives, making treatment more convenient, fast, and cost-effective.
Faster Healing - The laser creates less damage to soft tissue, reducing inflammation, preventing bleeding, and eliminating the need for stitches. This reduces the risk of infection and promotes the regeneration of healthy tissue.
We offer sedation for all tooth extractions. Alleviating pain and making you feel at ease during a wisdom tooth extraction is especially important because it requires surgical removal. There are various sedation options to choose from when having your wisdom teeth extracted, ranging from mild and moderate to heavy sedation.
General anesthesia may also be used but is typically not necessary except in rare or complicated cases. In all likelihood, you will choose from nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, or IV sedation. Which option is most suitable for you will depend on how complicated the removal of your wisdom teeth will be, your medical history, and your preference.
If you would prefer to be more heavily sedated or unconscious, IV sedation or general anesthesia is the best option for you. However, more mild sedatives have the lowest associated risks and many patients prefer to be conscious during the procedure. Come in for a consultation so we can discuss your options.
General anesthesia is typically reserved for long, complex procedures such as oral surgery. This type of sedation puts you under so that you are completely unconscious during the procedure.
You will not be awake, aware of what is going on, or feel any pain. You will wake up after the procedure is done and feel as though no time has passed and like you've woken up from a deep sleep.
General anesthesia allows us to get more work done on patients who have severe dental phobias, patients who have to sit through long procedures, and patients who have difficulty keeping their mouth open for long periods or have a sensitive gag reflex.
The lingering effects of general anesthesia can last for up to 24 hours. You will need someone to drive you home and monitor you. You won’t be able to drive or operate heavy machinery for the next 24 hours and should rest.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for general anesthesia, so it’s important that we review your medical history and you tell us what medications you are taking, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.