Some patients have a very strong fear of visiting the dentist, while others only request dental sedation for more intensive treatments.

Whatever the case may be, our team can help you find a sedation option that will work with your treatment plan and make your upcoming appointment(s) feel like a breeze! To learn more about sedation dentistry or to schedule your next visit, feel free to call our office or send us a message through our virtual contact form.

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What dental sedation options does Helotes Family Dentistry offer?

We offer three safe and effective choices for dental sedation. Our relaxing sedation options include:

  • Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas), a colorless gas that is administered through a nose mask throughout the treatment to make the patient feel relaxed and happy.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation involves taking a prescribed oral medication before the procedure to be put into a dream-like state for the duration of the visit.
  • IV Sedation requires a thin needle be placed in the arm so the sedative can be administered using an IV, and the amount can be increased and decreased.

Our team also uses OraVerse®, which helps reverse the effects of local anesthetic faster, so patients don’t feel numb for hours after their appointments.

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What treatments can dental sedation be used with?

Dental sedation can be used with virtually any dental treatment, as long as the patient is in good physical health and is interested in utilizing sedation dentistry. Laughing gas is typically used during minor procedures and to help patients with dental anxiety relax, while oral conscious sedation and IV sedation are more commonly used for more advanced restorative and surgical procedures. If you are interested in receiving dental sedation during a future appointment, our team would be happy to discuss your treatment plan and sedation of choice to determine if dental sedation is a good option for you.

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Are there any side effects that come with dental sedation?

We recommend eating a light meal before your appointment if you are going to be using nitrous oxide sedation to avoid nausea after your treatment, as that is a documented side effect. Patients who utilize oral conscious sedation or IV sedation will likely feel groggy and sluggish after their appointment, with slower reflexes and lower blood pressure. It’s also likely that you won’t be able to remember certain parts of your visit, as these sedation options can block the formation of memories. We recommend sleeping or at least taking it easy after you receive any form of dental sedation to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your body.

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Is dental sedation safe for me to utilize?

At Helotes Family Dentistry, the safety of our patients is always our top priority. Before we recommend any form of dental sedation, we always take the patient’s medical and dental history, current health status, and treatment plan into consideration. We will need to know if you are taking any medications or undergoing other health treatments to ensure that the sedation option that you utilize will be as safe and effective as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to bring them up with our team.


Can I drive myself home after my appointment?

Most patients who receive nitrous oxide sedation are allowed to drive themselves home after their appointment. If you still feel lightheaded or not completely back to normal after your appointment is complete, we welcome and encourage you to wait in our lobby until you feel up to driving. Patients who receive oral conscious or IV sedation will need to have a friend or family member wait in the lobby for the entirety of the patient’s visit and drive them home afterward. The patient should also refrain from driving for at least 24 hours after their appointment.


How long does dental sedation last?

Dental sedation affects every patient differently. Most of the effects of nitrous oxide will wear off within a couple of minutes of breathing normal air. Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation involve sedatives circulating through the bloodstream, so it can take a few hours for most of their effects to wear off. If you choose to use IV sedation or oral conscious sedation, we recommend that you avoid scheduling any activities for the rest of the day following your appointment, as you may feel more tired than you expect.

Helotes Family Dentistry

Helotes Family Dentistry