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Sedation Dentistry – Portland, OR

Calming Fears and Removing Dental Anxiety

Are you among the many Americans who fear going to the dentist? When you come to Advanced Dental Arts NW, you don’t have to worry. From the moment you walk through the door until checkout, our caring team members will do everything they can to make sure that you’re completely comfortable. However, if you still feel anxious, we can provide sedation dentistry in Portland, OR to take the edge off and help you feel more at ease.

Why Choose Advanced Dental Arts NW for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Friendly, Gentle Dental Team That Genuinely Cares
  • All Ages Welcome
  • Advanced Technology for More Comfortable, Effective Treatment

Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation

Patient with nitrous oxide nose mask

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that makes a patient feel warm, relaxed, and content while in the chair. You breathe it in through a nasal mask, and we can adjust the amount you receive to find the right level of relaxation. One of the best advantages of this kind of sedation is that it takes effect within minutes, allows you to remain awake throughout the procedure, and wears off very quickly, leaving you with no side effects. After your appointment, you should be able to carry on with your day as usual.

Who is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

young male patient receiving nitrous oxide sedation in Portland

Nitrous oxide sedation has a wide variety of applications in the dental office, and as such, we can use it to help people who:

  • Have mild to moderate anxiety or fear related to dental care
  • Don’t like the sights, sounds, or smells of the dental office
  • Are afraid of needles (when injections are needed for anesthetic)
  • Don’t respond to typical anesthetic
  • Suffer from dental sensitivity
  • Have trouble sitting for lengthy periods of time

Basically, if you have any concerns about an upcoming dental appointment, please let us know. As you can see, simply using nitrous oxide can help alleviate many common issues that patients experience.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work? 

dials for nitrous oxide sedation in Portland

Before a patient is given nitrous oxide sedation, they’ll have a chance to talk with Dr. Teasdale about their comfort with dentistry. Depending on their level of nerves and what type of procedure they need, Dr. Teasdale may recommend nitrous oxide sedation to make someone more comfortable.

At the beginning of treatment, a small mask will be placed on the patient’s nose. Through it, they will breathe in a mixture of the colorless, odorless gas and oxygen. Within a few minutes, the patient should feel much calmer, and this sensation should last throughout the appointment as the mask will stay on the entire time. The ratio of nitrous oxide to oxygen can be adjusted in real-time to ensure the patient is able to fully relax.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

smiling male dental patient

One of the best aspects of nitrous oxide sedation is that the aftercare is so minimal that it practically doesn’t exist. When the appointment is over and the mask is removed, the patient will feel normal within a few minutes without any lingering effects. They can immediately resume their day and even drive afterward. What should be noted is that while nitrous oxide sedation fades quickly, if a patient received anesthetic, this may last for a few hours after the appointment.

Oral Conscious Sedation

patient talking with sedation dentist in Portland

If there was a pill that could help you finally relax at the dentist and not feel anxious in the chair, would you take it? If you answered YES like most, then you’ll be pleased to find out that this option already exists, and it’s called oral conscious sedation. Often recommended for patients with mild to severe dental anxiety, it might be exactly what you need to finally breathe easy during your appointments.

What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

what is oral conscious sedation in Portland?

With oral conscious sedation in Portland, you will be prescribed medication to take on the day of your appointment, usually Valium, Ativan, or Halcion. You’ll be asked to take it either at home before you come to our office or after you arrive. The drug will typically start working after about 15 minutes, and if you don’t feel anything, we may recommend an additional pill. Of course, we will review your medical history and ask about any medications you are currently using beforehand to ensure that your sedation is both safe and effective.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

dental patients learning about oral conscious sedation in Portland

If you are asked to take a pill at home, you’ll need to have a friend or family member drive you to our office. We also require that someone bring you home afterward as the effects of the medication are long-lasting.

While in the chair, you should feel extremely relaxed, but you’ll remain awake the entire time and be able to respond to our team’s commands. This should make your visit go by very efficiently. Afterward, you’ll likely only have fuzzy memories of what happened. You should feel normal sometime later that evening or when you wake up the next morning at the latest.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

smile oral conscious sedation dentist in Portland

When you come to see your sedation dentist in Portland, be sure to mention if you have dental anxiety or are worried about an upcoming procedure. Your comfort and peace of mind matter!

Oral conscious sedation can be helpful for patients who:

  • Are extremely nervous about visiting the dentist
  • Often cancel dental appointments due to fear
  • Have a sensitive gag reflex
  • Don’t respond to local anesthetic very well
  • Don’t like the usual sights, sounds, and smells of a dental office
  • Need to undergo a more complex procedure

Sedation Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions

green question mark

As a nervous patient, sedation dentistry might sound like exactly what you need, but we understand if you still have questions! We’ve gone ahead and answered some of the most popular sedation-related questions we receive below, but if there is anything else you would like to ask, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

How safe is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide has been used for over 100 years to help anxious dental patients of all ages, so it is extremely safe. Before we decide whether or not to administer sedation, we will briefly go over a patient’s medical history to make sure there will be no complications. While someone is sedated, they will be continually monitored to make sure everything is alright.

Do procedures take longer with dental sedation?

No, and in fact, many dental procedures are much faster with sedation because the patient doesn’t resist the dentist! Scared patients are tense and may clench their jaw or unconsciously move while in the chair, two things that can really slow down a dentist. Thanks to the mental and physical relaxation provided by sedation, the patient remains comfortable and compliant so the dentist is able to work efficiently, helping everyone save time.

Will I say funny things while sedated?

Contrary to what you’ve seen on the internet, being sedated in a dental office does NOT automatically mean you’ll start saying weird things as you’re waking up. Firstly, sedation dentistry in Portland doesn’t put you to sleep. Secondly, the people featured in those videos likely received general anesthesia or some other form of deep sedation, which is why they are a bit “scattered” right after their appointment. With what we use, you’ll feel like yourself within a few minutes, or you might just be a little bit drowsy (but perfectly in control) for a few hours.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?

Typically, sedation is considered a “luxury” and is not covered by dental insurance. But, in situations where sedation is absolutely needed for the patient to receive care (like if they have a disability such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s), there may be exceptions. Sedation might also be covered if the patient needs an extensive and/or invasive procedure (like multiple tooth extractions). But, this is just speaking generally, so it’s important to look over your plan to see what benefits you have. We can help you do this and offer additional ways to make your care affordable as well.