Conscious sedation techniques such as nitrous oxide and intravenous (IV) sedation are often used for long dental appointments such as those necessary for some periodontal procedures. They also help to relax those individuals who may be apprehensive about dental treatment. The medications used for your sedation will not put you to sleep, but will only make you relaxed and give you a feeling of well-being. Vital to the success of conscious sedation, and to your safety and comfort, is your cooperation in following a few simple instructions prior to and following your dental appointment.

Your stomach must be empty by the time of your appointment, therefore, you should not eat or drink twelve hours before your appointment. You can have a small quantity of water if you need to take oral medications.

If you are to receive nitrous oxide, you will be completely recovered from its effects very shortly after your dental procedure. You, therefore, may resume normal activities (including driving) immediately thereafter, although Dr. Hanson will have specific post-operative instructions regarding the treatment he has performed for you.

If you are to receive IV sedation, you will need to take the rest of the day off. The effects of IV medications last all day and the following instructions must be followed:

  1. Wear loose-fitting clothes, including an open neck and short sleeves.

  2. Do not wear acrylic fingernails or nail polish on your fingers.

  3. Do not wear pantyhose, knee-high stockings or apply lotion to legs the day of surgery.
    (We will need to apply an electrode to one leg for ECG monitoring.)

  4. You must have a responsible person to escort you home by car and stay with you for a few hours.

  5. Do not drive a car or operate any potentially hazardous machinery or appliances for the remainder of the day.

  6. Do not be responsible for small children after your appointment.

  7. Defer any responsible or complicated task, or any decisions requiring fine judgment, for the remainder of the day.

  8. Refrain from drinking any alcoholic beverages for 24 hours before or after your appointment.

With IV sedation, you will easily respond to verbal and tactile stimulation. No airway intervention will be required; your normal breathing will be adequate. Cardiovascular function will be slightly decreased and you will feel very relaxed.

If you wish to be completely put to sleep, we can take you to the Winchester Medical Center and use the ambulatory surgery center. Dr. Hanson is on the Winchester Medical Center staff. As a staff member of the hospital, he has the ability to offer ambulatory outpatient surgery, which is surgery that does not require an overnight hospital stay. If your anxiety level is such that you want to be put completely asleep, this is a good option. Ambulatory outpatient surgery adds some cost to the case, however, there is time savings for the patient. We try to take care of all the dental needs at the OR visit. Depending on your medical history, procedures may be completely covered by your medical insurance.

Please remember, we are here to help. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you have about your dental care.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Hanson today to learn more about your options.