Sedation Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry allows Dr. Riehl to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. Imagine having completed your dental treatment with no recollection of the treatment itself, only a sense of calm!

Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:

  • A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
  • Difficulty sitting still for extended periods of time
  • A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics

Benefits to Sedation Dentistry include:

  • Vague to no remembrance of the procedure
  • Time passes quickly while under sedation
  • Experience little or no remembrance of sounds or smells
  • Feel calm, relaxed with no anxiety or fear of dentistry

Will I Be Awake?

Patients who have had conscious sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple relaxing way to experience dentistry. This mild form of sedation is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered orally. You remain awake, may feel sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from conscious sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild to moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.

How Will the Sedative be Administered?

  • Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas, combined with a mixture of oxygen, is inhaled by the patient and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to Dr. Riehl during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately.
  • Oral — Oral sedation is the most common dental sedation technique. We ask that patients arrive early to their appointment. About one hour before the appointment, you will be given a prescription pill in the office. Within the hour, you will be fully relaxed. This form of sedation requires someone else drives you to and from your appointment.

Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and Dr. Doran Riehl and his dental assistants are certified to administer dental sedation.