At TLC Dentistry, Dr. Lam and our team work diligently to ensure that our patients feel relaxed, welcome, and comfortable during office visits. In some cases, we may offer sedation dentistry for lengthy procedures or for patients with dental fears and phobias. Depending on the nature of your procedure and your unique needs, Dr. Lam may utilize varying levels of sedation to ensure that you enjoy a worry-free experience. The most common methods improving patient relaxation and comfort are the use of nitrous oxide gas and prescription medications.
Nitrous oxide gas is a safe method for delivering anesthesia to patients. Used for over 100 years in medicine—especially dentistry—nitrous oxide gas is administered through a facial mask that fits gently over the nose. This gas works quickly to produce warm, euphoric feelings that promote relaxation and reduced anxiety. After a patient’s procedure is complete and the facial mask is removed, the sedative effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly, allowing patients to regain full motor and cognitive function almost instantaneously. In most cases, patients can drive home after their procedure.
For patients with significant anxiety or for more involved dental procedures, Dr. Lam may prescribe an oral sedative. For patients with moderate anxiety, the medication prescribed is often a benzodiazepine. This family of medications includes pills that work with GABA receptors in the brain to stop the neurological chemical reaction that produces feelings of worry and panic. Although a benzodiazepine is considered a mild sedative, it does produce lingering effects. For this reason, patients should arrange for a ride to and from our office. This type of sedation is normally taken one hour prior to a patient’s appointment.
Our team of compassionate and caring dental professionals has experience with helping patients overcome their dental fears and phobias. In addition to our serene office environment, we strive to promote optimal comfort for all our patients. To discuss sedation dentistry or to schedule an appointment, contact TLC Dentistry today.