IV Sedation vs. Laughing Gas - Which is Right for You

Do you tense up with fear when you think about visiting the dentist? Or do you worry that you’ll experience pain during your next procedure? Many people experience dental phobia just like you. Fortunately, there’s a solution to help – sedation. IV Sedation and laughing gas are common methods that can be used to help relax patients who are undergoing dental procedures and surgery. They are often used when a patient is nervous or scared, but it can also be used to make the experience more comfortable. If your dentist has recommended this for your next procedure, learn more about the differences between the two and which one is right for you.

What is IV Sedation?

This type of sedation procedure injects a sedative drug into the patient’s vein. Within minutes, the patient falls into a deep, relaxed state and will feel extremely sleepy. Throughout the procedure, the dentist can continually adjust the level of sedation that is needed to keep the patient safe and comfortable. Once the sedation wears off, the patient will feel slightly groggy and disorientated for a little while until they recover. Because of the side effects, they’ll need a ride home from a family member or friend. Once they recover from the sedation, the patient will likely not remember the procedure, making this an excellent option for those with serious dental phobias.

Who is it Best For?

IV sedation is often used on those who are undergoing serious procedures or significant oral surgery. It can also be used on those who are fearful of dental treatments and have higher levels of anxiety.

What is Laughing Gas?

Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, is administered through a mask and inhaled. Patients will remain awake but start to feel tingling sensations and slightly euphoric, but will remain completely conscious. During the procedure, the dentists can adjust the laughing gas to maintain the patient’s state. But once turned off, the laughing gas quickly wears off and the patient will usually return to normal within minutes.

Who is it Best For?

Laughing gas is often best for those receiving minor procedures such as an extraction. Patients who tend to fidget during treatments or who have moderate levels of anxiety may also prefer laughing gas over IV treatments. Laughing gas is also a better option for those who cannot arrange for someone to pick them up after the procedure.

Don’t put off your next visit because of dental phobia. Ask one of our dentists at Yazdani Family Dentistry about the sedation options best for you. Contact us today!