Sedation Dentistry – Dallas, TX

Helping Nervous Patients Relax

If you have dental phobia or are just generally anxious when it comes to treatments involving your mouth, then even a minor periodontal procedure can be nerve-racking. As part of our philosophy of giving every patient individualized care, Dr. Tunnell can take the time to help you overcome your fears and anxieties by administering a well-chosen form of sedation. When you come to our periodontal office, you can trust that we’ll do everything we can to help you feel comfortable before, during, and after your treatment thanks to our options for sedation dentistry in Dallas, TX.

Man smiling after periodontal visit using sedation dentistry

Why Choose Central Perio for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Minimally Invasive Periodontal Surgery
  • An Experienced and Caring Periodontist
  • Various Sedation Options Under One Roof

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide dental sedation system

Although nitrous oxide is one of the mildest forms of dental sedation, it is still incredibly effective! Patients enjoy this calming solution since the effects set in quickly, it’s safe for patients of all ages, and there aren’t any lingering effects, like grogginess. Plus, it’s extremely versatile – it can help patients with dental anxiety, sensitive gag reflexes, and more. If you think you would benefit from nitrous oxide, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to schedule an appointment or read on to learn more about it.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is commonly used to help mildly anxious or afraid patients feel more comfortable. However, it’s also suitable for those who have a sensitive gag reflex, who have trouble feeling numb, and who need extensive dental work done. At your initial appointment, we will determine if you’re a candidate by reviewing your medical history, learning all about your allergies, and considering any medications you’re taking. Although many patients can benefit from this mild sedative, there are some exceptions, including expecting mothers and conditions that make it difficult to breathe through your nose.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Once you’re settled into the treatment chair, we will place a small mask over your nose. Then, we will switch on the nitrous oxide, which is both colorless and odorless. It won’t take long for you to begin feeling the effects and enter a deeper state of relaxation. In fact, you might even doze off! Don’t worry – we can adjust the dosage you receive as needed, and you’ll still be capable of responding to questions and requests. Once we’ve completed the preventive, restorative, or emergency dentistry you need, we will turn off the nitrous oxide. In no time at all, the effects will begin to dissipate.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

As mentioned in the previous section, the effects of nitrous oxide will begin to wear off shortly after the mask is removed. That means that you can return to your normal routine afterward! Of course, we will give you detailed post-op instructions if you had a more extensive treatment. This could include everything from not eating anything crunchy to rinsing with warm saltwater periodically to reduce your chances of developing an infection. As always, you’re welcome to bring any questions you have to our team so we can provide you with the answers you’re looking for.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Young woman sedated at dentist

Do your palms sweat when it’s time to visit your dentist? Maybe you need multiple procedures or have difficulty laying in one position for too long. No matter the reason, you can sit back and relax with oral conscious sedation in Dallas. Contrary to what you might have heard, you aren’t “put to sleep,” but you won’t feel any pain or discomfort, either. Instead, you’ll reach a deep level of relaxation, allowing your dentist to perform the necessary treatment quickly.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

There are many types of dental sedation, but oral consciousness is among the most popular. It is a medication taken orally before your appointment, so you’ll need someone to drive you to our office. By the time you arrive, you should feel very relaxed. Depending on your needs and preferences, some sedatives can make you feel a little drowsy, while others may cause you to drift off into a light sleep. Your dentist will determine the type and amount of sedative best for your needs and situation.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work? 

Oral conscious sedation isn’t the same as general anesthesia, which is typically administered in a hospital setting. The sedative will cause your worries to fade, allowing you to reach a high level of relaxation, so don’t be surprised if you fall asleep. However, you can be awakened at a light touch to respond to your dentist’s verbal instructions. Your dentist will perform the required treatments while you lay comfortably in the chair. After your procedure, it can take the effects of the sedative a few hours to dissipate, so you’ll need to have a friend or loved one drive you home. It’s important to rest and limit your activities for at least 24 hours to ensure the effects have worn off. Depending on your treatment, your dentist may have additional aftercare instructions.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Sedation dentistry is safe for most patients; however, you’ll require a thorough consultation to look for any potentially adverse reactions. Your sedation dentist in Dallas will learn more about your medical history, including any prescribed or OTC medications you’re taking. Patients with certain underlying conditions may not be candidates for oral conscious sedation, like those with chronic bronchitis or respiratory disease. Besides ensuring you’re healthy enough for sedation dentistry, your dentist will determine if your situation could benefit from it. Oral conscious sedation is often recommended for patients with:

  • Dental-related phobias or anxieties
  • Difficult keeping the jaw open
  • Neck or jaw pain
  • Complex treatment plans
  • Difficulty laying in one position
  • A strong gag reflex

You won’t have to worry about a painful or stressful day in the dentist’s chair. We can help you enjoy your time in our office to keep a healthy, beautiful smile a priority. If you have any questions about oral conscious sedation or you’re ready to see if it’s an option for you, contact our office today for an appointment.

IV Dental Sedation

I V sedation dentistry drip

Extensive procedures might call for IV sedation. This type of sedation is sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” but it won’t actually make you unconscious. The sedative is delivered directly to the bloodstream so that you quickly enter a deeply relaxed and euphoric state that will make it easy to stay nice and calm throughout the process. Our team will keep a close eye on your blood pressure and vitals to make sure that you stay completely safe throughout the procedure.

What Is IV Dental Sedation?

IV dental sedation is the most powerful form of sedation dentistry. To administer it, we’ll place a small needle on your arm or the back of your hand. This will deliver the sedative directly to your bloodstream, so you’ll begin to feel relaxed right away. You may experience heaviness in your limbs or begin to feel sleepy. In fact, most patients don’t remember anything about their appointments afterwards as if they had fallen asleep! Despite this, you’ll be conscious enough for us to direct you as needed and if you drift off to sleep, we’ll easily be able to wake you with a gentle nudge.

Throughout your treatment, we will closely monitor your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. If needed, we’ll be able to adjust your level of sedation at any point during your appointment. The effects of IV sedation will linger once we finish your procedure, so you’ll need a trusted friend or family member to drive you home. You’ll need to rest for the remainder of the day.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IV Dental Sedation?

We may recommend IV dental sedation to patients who:

  • Are undergoing long or intensive treatments
  • Experience severe dental anxiety or phobia
  • Have a very sensitive gag reflex or sensitive teeth
  • Don’t respond well to numbing medication alone

The best way to tell if IV dental sedation is right for you is to come see us for a consultation. We’ll take the time to get to know you and talk through your concerns. Then, we’ll evaluate your health and review your medical history to search for anything that may cause complications. We will only recommend IV dental sedation once we’ve taken the time to make sure it’s a good choice for you.

The Benefits of IV Dental Sedation

IV dental sedation offers a variety of benefits, including:

  • The calming sedative effects begin right away
  • We can adjust your level of sedation at any time during treatment
  • Powerful and reliable sedation ensures maximum comfort
  • Little to no memory of your treatment, as if you had been asleep the entire time
  • Provides a comfortable, relaxing way for patients to get the dental care they need when they may otherwise not see the dentist out of fear

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Yellow question mark on top of black question marks

Your sedation dentist in Dallas, Dr. John Tunnell, can provide the comfortable care you need. Whether you’re afraid of the dentist or need dental work, sedation dentistry can help you sit back and relax, but it's normal to have a few concerns. Don't worry, your dentist will explain everything during your consultation. While you wait for your appointment, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry.

Is Dental Sedation Safe?

Although Dental sedation is safe, it's not right for everyone. Your dentist will learn more about your medical history and any medications you're taking to ensure there are minimal risk factors for adverse complications. Generally, nitrous oxide is the safest for most patients, including children. No matter the type used, you'll be closely monitored throughout your appointment to ensure your safety.

Is There More Than One Type of Sedation?

Our office offers multiple types of dental sedation to meet your exact needs, like:

  • Nitrous Oxide: Better known as “laughing gas,” the inhaled sedative kicks in and dissipates quickly, with no lingering side effects. Your extremities may feel a little tingly and you might get a case of the giggles.
  • Oral Conscious: Oral conscious sedation is a prescribed medication taken before your procedure, so you'll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You'll become very relaxed to the point you may fall asleep, but you won't be unconscious.
  • IV Sedation: IV sedation is reserved for patients with unique situations, like complex treatment plans. It’s delivered intravenously, giving your dentist more control over the amount administered to cater to your specific needs.

Will I Feel Any Pain With Sedation?

Dental sedation can be combined with local numbing agents to block any pain. You may feel some pressure or unusual sensations, but you won't have any outright pain. Depending on your treatment, your mouth may be a little tender for a couple of days after the effects of any numbing agents dissipate. You can manage it with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Follow any additional aftercare instructions, like eating soft foods.

Will I Remember Anything With Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation can have memory loss effects, especially oral conscious and IV sedatives. This can be a great option for patients who have had a negative experience in the past or require an invasive treatment. It’s not uncommon to have fragmented memories of your appointment.

How Much Does Dental Sedation Cost?

There's no flat fee for dental sedation because many factors affect the cost, like the type used. Our office strives to keep comfortable dental care affordable for everyone. We will provide you with an estimate and explain the fees, so you'll know exactly what you'll have to pay. Depending on your situation, you can use your dental insurance to lower the cost. Our office also provides various financial solutions, like monthly payments through CareCredit.