Sedation Dentistry Options – Albuquerque, NM

The Smooth Ride
That You Deserve

As you can imagine, a lot of patients are nervous when they come to see us, as undergoing any type of oral surgery can be anxiety-inducing. We completely understand, which is why we offer a selection of sedation dentistry options in our office that are proven to calm racing minds while also preventing physical discomfort. The approach that is best for you will be determined by yourself and your doctor, ensuring that once you sit down in the treatment chair, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Why Choose Nob Hill Oral and Facial Surgery of Albuquerque for Sedation Options?

  • Licensed Nurse
    on Staff
  • Friendly & Understanding Dental Team
  • Trusted by Albuquerque For 30+ Years

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

The gentlest form of sedation, a patient simply breathes in this odorless gas through a small nasal mask for a few minutes, and this allows them to achieve a state of relaxation and even giddiness in some cases (which is why it’s sometimes called “laughing gas”). The mask stays on throughout a procedure, and after it is removed, a patient will feel completely normal within a few minutes. If you’re interested in learning more about this calming solution, keep reading or get in touch with our team!

Person in dental chair with mask over their nose

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Dental assistant smiling while taking notes on clipboard

Although nitrous oxide is suitable for a wide variety of patients, it’s most common among patients who struggle with dental-related anxiety, experience significant dental sensitivity, have a sensitive gag reflex, or have a fear of needles. If you think that you would be a good candidate, then we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our talented oral surgeons. At this appointment, they can determine if nitrous oxide is right for you by learning about any allergies you have, any medications you’re taking, and your medical history.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Closeup of nob that controls nitrous oxide

The process of administering nitrous oxide is quite simple! Once you’re sitting comfortably in the treatment chair, we will place a comfortable nasal mask over your nose and turn on the nitrous oxide. After a few minutes of breathing in the odorless mixture, you’ll begin to feel a wave of relaxation wash over you. When you’re ready to begin, we will start your treatment, checking in with you throughout to make sure you’re still comfortable. Once we’re done working, we will switch off the nitrous oxide, and the effects will begin to dissipate.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Male patient smiling while relaxing in treatment chair

In addition to being fast-acting, the effects of nitrous oxide begin to fade instantly. After a few minutes of breathing in oxygen, you’ll feel like your normal self again! Of course, your mouth will still be numb from the procedure, which is why we recommend not chewing anything until you regain full sensation. Our team will also review any aftercare instructions specific to the dental work you received so the recovery period is as smooth and comfortable as possible.

IV Dental Sedation

This method involves administering a sedative directly into a patient’s bloodstream using a small injection in their hand or arm. This allows it to take effect very quickly, and it enables a patient to achieve a state of relaxation much deeper compared to nitrous oxide. We typically recommend it for more advanced procedures or for those who have a lot of anxiety heading into their treatment.

Patient receiving I V in their arm

What Is IV Dental Sedation?

Close up of an I V drip

For this method, medication is administered directly into the bloodstream, so you should feel the effects very quickly. You will remain conscious, but typically won’t remember anything during the procedure, as you will be in a deeper state of relaxation than nitrous oxide sedation. Our dental team will closely monitor your vitals to ensure that you are perfectly safe. The effects can take some time to wear off, so it’s important to have a trusted friend or family member drive you to and from the appointment.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IV Dental Sedation?

Woman afraid at the dentist

IV sedation is most commonly used in oral surgeries and long procedures, as it can help to lessen high levels of anxiety and phobias associated with the dental office. Additionally, people who have an overactive gag reflex, TMJ dysfunction (TMD), or other neuromuscular issues that could make it more difficult to keep their mouth open for a long period of time can often benefit from IV sedation as well. Before your treatment, we will take the time to discuss your anxiety levels, health history, and any medications that you’re taking to determine if IV sedation is the best solution for you.

The Benefits of IV Dental Sedation

Woman relaxed in the dental chair

IV sedation offers numerous benefits. Here are some of the most prominent ones that you can expect:

  • The effects set in very quickly because of the method of administration.
  • Patients can receive essential dental treatment despite dental anxiety.
  • The dental team controls the flow of medication, so the patient experiences a constant state of relaxation.
  • IV sedation prevents additional stress-related memories that can make seeking future dental treatment challenging for those with dental phobia.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia enables a patient to sleep throughout their procedure and wake up with no memory of it afterward. It can be tremendously helpful for those with extreme anxiety or patients who need to undergo extensive or multiple procedures. The type of general anesthesia we utilize is much lighter compared to what is used during major surgery, so it is safer and also makes it easier for a patient to wake up afterward while experiencing only mild drowsiness.

General anesthesia administration mask

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

If you have dental anxiety, a sensitive gag reflex, or another difficulty when it comes to receiving dental care, sedation dentistry could be the solution that you’ve been looking for! However, it pays to be well-informed, so we’re here to help! Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about sedation dentistry. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t hesitate to give us a call to learn more!

Is sedation dentistry safe?

For the majority of patients, sedation is a perfectly safe option. Before deciding whether or not we will administer sedation, we will look over your medical history and current medications to ensure that there won’t be any negative interactions. While you’re being sedated, we will closely monitor your vitals at all times to ensure that you are safe.

What does it feel like to be sedated at the dentist?

This depends on the type of sedation that you are receiving. Nitrous oxide makes you feel relaxed, light, and euphoric. Some patients experience a slight tingling sensation in their arms and legs. You may even get the giggles – this is where nitrous oxide gets the nickname “laughing gas.” IV sedation gives you a very deep sense of relaxation. You may even dose off. However, you will still be able to answer questions and follow basic instructions from the dental team. If you are receiving general anesthesia, you will be comfortably asleep throughout the duration of your treatment.

How long does dental sedation last?

This varies depending on the sedation type. Nitrous oxide should wear off within 5 minutes once you stop inhaling the gas. You should even feel good enough to drive yourself home afterward with no lingering drowsiness. With IV sedation and general anesthesia, much of the sedative’s effect will wear off soon after your procedure. However, you may feel groggy for several hours afterward, so you should arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home.

Does dental sedation make you tell secrets?

Contrary to popular belief, dental sedation isn’t actually a “truth serum.” It is very unlikely that you will reveal a deep, dark secret while sedated. Even if you do say something you wouldn’t normally say while under sedation, it will always be kept within the walls of the dental treatment room.

Relaxed woman at the dental office