For many people, a basic trip to the dentist can provoke feelings of extreme anxiety, not to mention the amount of stress a more complex dental procedure can cause. Fortunately, twilight sedation dentistry can alleviate worries stemming from the simplest to the most complicated dental procedures. If you are one of the many people who deal with dental anxiety, there are multiple options to ensure your dental procedure is a comfortable, pleasant and pain-free experience.
What is Twilight Sedation?
Sedation dentistry goes by many different names and comes in many different forms. Rather than referring to a specific sedation drug or process, the term twilight sedation includes various methods of sedation and refers to any process of sedation where a dream-like state of deep relaxation is induced with the intent of lasting the entire duration of the dental procedure.
During twilight sedation, patients are still able to respond to requests if needed. While patients may experience a sense of amnesia and not even remember the procedure, they will still be able to communicate with the dental team, ensuring a comfortable experience for the patient and a clear line of communication between the patient and the dentist.
Twilight Sedation With Laughing Gas
Commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide promotes a deep sense of relaxation and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off within minutes of discontinuation and allow the patient a quick recovery and more immediate control of their senses. Unlike IV sedation, patients can typically drive themselves home from their appointment, eliminating the need for a friend or family member to accompany them.
With laughing gas sedation, a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen is provided while the dental team carefully monitors its levels to ensure safety. Most patients report feeling a sense of total relaxation along with floating or tingling sensations. Patients are typically awake during the procedure, but often do not remember the experience once it’s done or can only recall portions of the procedure.
Twilight sedation with laughing gas is beneficial for several reasons. Patients can recover from the sedation quickly, so they do not need a caregiver to accompany them to the appointment and, thus, often have more flexibility in scheduling. Because they are not put to sleep with general anesthesia, patients also maintain a higher level of control throughout the procedure itself.
IV Twilight Sedation
As an alternative to laughing gas twilight sedation, intravenous(IV) twilight sedation is a popular method for a majority of complex dental procedures. Unlike general anesthesia, during IV sedation the patient is not fully unconscious but rather in a semi-awake state of decreased anxiety. Most patients have little to no memory of the procedure due to the amnesia-like effect of the medications, but they are still able to respond to verbal cues and light touch.
With IV twilight sedation dentistry, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNAs) administer and monitor the specific medications needed for the procedure. The techniques and medications used take effect quickly and reduce the “hangover effect” or grogginess often associated with other sedation methods.
Benefits of IV Twilight Sedation:
- There is less stress and anxiety for the patient.
- Dental procedures can be completed more efficiently.
- Procedures that would normally take multiple visits can often be completed in a single appointment.
- People with strong gag reflexes can have procedures done without worrying about their response or reaction to the treatment or tools.
- There are fewer “hangover” effects than many oral sedation methods.
Whether it’s laughing gas or IV sedation, both options provide safe and anxiety-free experiences for a variety of patients with unique backgrounds. Both services allow patients to put their mind at ease while receiving the highest quality of care. Furthermore, patients can rest easy knowing the sedation method recommended is safe, effective and up-to-date with the latest industry best practices.
Are You a Good Candidate for Twilight Sedation Dentistry?
Dental anxiety is extremely common in America today, and many people suffer from it each year. In fact, for a majority of people with dental anxiety, routine visits or even trips to the dentist when needed are completely avoided due to fear and stress. There are many reasons why you may decide to pursue twilight sedation dentistry.
You may be a good candidate if you:
- Have had dental trauma in the past.
- Have had bad dental experiences before.
- Have high anxiety when thinking about scheduling an appointment.
- Have a fear of discomfort or pain while in the treatment chair.
- Have the need for multiple procedures to be performed in one visit.
- Have avoided routine dental visits in the past as a result of your anxiety or fear.
Request a Free Consultation
Thanks to twilight sedation dentistry, you don’t have to dread the dentist any longer. At your consultation, we’ll provide a general dental exam, discuss your anxieties and fears with you, and review your treatment options together. The consultation itself is free of charge, and there’s absolutely no commitment on your part. Simply request your free consultation here or call (864) 877-9111 to speak with a member of our staff today.