Sedation Medication for Dental Treatments – What Are Your Options?

Jamie J. Alexander on January 26, 2022

Boynton Beach, Florida dentist Dr. Jamie J. Alexander understands why dental patients feel anxiety about dental appointments, and he offers a choice of two safe sedation options.

“We strive to make every patient feel comfortable with every step of every examination and treatment procedures,” says Dr. Alexander. “We take things slowly, explain everything we are going to do, seek the patient’s permission to continue, and give the patient ways to signal they need a break or that they are feeling uncomfortable. We also offer conscious sedation with a prescribed oral medication and, alternatively, nitrous oxide, which I administer and monitor while the patient is in the chair.”

Dental Anxiety Is Prevalent

If you tend to delay dental appointments because they make you feel anxious, you are not alone. Different studies indicate that 36% to 75% of adults fear dental appointments. Some people are so anxious, they have what is called “dental phobia.” And that’s a very real condition characterized by a feeling of panic, affecting 9% to 20% of the population.
“Many patients who are anxious had an unpleasant dental experience in the past or someone close to them had one,” says Dr. Alexander. “Some adults who fear dental appointments experienced feeling helpless in the dental chair when they were children. We’ve seen repeatedly that patients relax and become less anxious on return visits to the dentist. It becomes easier for them, and over time, much of their anxiety goes away.”

Oral “Conscious” Sedation

Dr. Jamie Alexander can prescribe an anti-anxiety oral medication to be taken at a prescribed time prior to your appointment. You will be instructed not to drive after taking the medication. During your appointment, you will feel relaxed and moderately sedated but still be awake and able to hear and follow instructions from Dr. Alexander and his team. After your procedure, the effects of sedation will wear off while you are monitored. Although you will be more highly conscious when you are released to go home, you will need a driver to take you home, and you should not drive the rest of the day.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a safe and effective sedative. Dr. Alexander controls the amount of gas mixed with oxygen that you will inhale through a small mask that fits over your nose. He will control the amount of gas you receive throughout your dental procedure, and the sedative effects disappear immediately after the mask is removed and you are breathing normal air. With nitrous oxide, you do not need to wait to go home after your procedure, and you do not need a driver.

New Patients Are Always Welcome

If you live in the Boynton Beach, Florida area or are visiting, we welcome your call and the opportunity to care for your dental needs. If you suffer from any degree of dental anxiety, let us know, so we can collaborate to reduce that anxiety and hopefully eliminate it. Conscious sedation medication and nitrous oxide are options that have enabled many patients to have the highest level of care they deserve.

“We honestly take things as slow as needed with patients who tell us they are fearful, so they have time to get to know us and trust us,” says Dr. Jamie Alexander. “In addition to keeping our patients safe, comfortable, and moving towards improved oral health, our top priority is building trust with patients so we can best help them access the oral health care they need and have the most wonderful experience we can give them.”