For some people, taking the edge off is all that is required for a dental visit to be within their ability to cope and tolerate the appointment, or series of appointments.

At InHarmony Dental Care, we offer a range of sedation options, including oral sedation (under the tongue dissolving pill), inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide), combination sedation (both oral and inhalation sedation together), alone, or in combination with problem solving strategies and preparation for appointments.

All sedation options are available to all patients, upon assessment during an independently scheduled appointment.  During this assessment, Nitrous Oxide sample test may be possible to determine its suitability by the patient.  Oral sedation and combination sedation require specific discharge procedures including being picked up by a responsible person.  Feel free to ask about the BCDA rules regarding sedation and patient care, and the patient’s responsibilities when making use of sedation.

Please don’t hesitate to inquire about oral sedation, nitrous oxide, or combination sedation if you feel any one of these may be right for you. We will be happy to explain in detail the experience, estimate the cost to you, or send a pre-authorization request to your insurance provider.

Sedation Options

Oral Sedation

If you are considering taking advantage of the Oral Sedation available in our office for dental procedures, you may benefit from the following information:

  • Oral sedation is technically a sublingual (under the tongue) dissolving sedative in the Ativan family used to bring about a physical sense of calm and relaxation.
  • Oral sedatives work to somewhat depress the central nervous system related to conscious awareness.  Most patients using oral sedation report that the dental appointment seems less intense and that lengthy appointments appear to pass by quickly.  Some patients report a settling of the gag reflex as a side benefit of oral sedation.
  • Oral sedation with sublingual delivery (dissolving under the tongue) is fast acting and patients report improvement of anxiety symptoms within about 10 minutes.

Please note: Oral sedation is ONLY administered in office and no oral sedation obtained from sources outside our office (including medical offices) can be consumed prior to or during appointments in our office according to the guidelines of the BCDA.

With the use of oral sedation as an option, a ride to and from the appointment is necessary and the patient must be released to a responsible person.  Patients using oral sedation must adhere to the office policies around using office supplied oral sedation only, arranging transportation and agreeing to not drive themselves to and from appointments where oral sedation is used.

Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)

If you are considering taking advantage of the Nitrous Oxide available in our office for dental procedures, you may benefit from the following information:

  • Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, is technically N20-O2 and typically, at maximum strength, is a mixture of 30% oxygen and 70% nitrous oxide.
  • Nitrous oxide is administered through a small nasal hood, which is a little bulb-shaped apparatus that fits over your nose. You breathe normally throughout your dental appointment. General numbing techniques are still used for your treatment.
  • Relaxation and pain-relieving properties begin within 2 minutes of administration. There is no wait time for the benefits to begin, and no wait time for the sedation effect to wear off. You are safe to drive yourself home afterwards.
  • Nitrous oxide is safe for patients with epilepsy, liver, heart, or cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, and most respiratory issues. Please feel free to ask if it is recommended for you.
  • Patients report some tingling sensations initially, then report feeling relaxed, warm, pleasant, a little light-headed, a bit giggly at times, floating, and worry-free.

Combination Sedation

If you are considering taking advantage of the Combination Sedation available in our office for dental procedures, you may benefit from the following information:

  • Combination sedation necessitates monitoring of a few vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, and oxygenation.  A baseline measurement of all three vital signs is taken at the beginning of the appointment
  • Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, is used in combination with oral sedation to create combination sedation.
  • Nitrous oxide is administered through a small nasal hood, which is a little bulb-shaped apparatus that fits over your nose. You breathe normally throughout your dental appointment. General numbing techniques are still used for your treatment.
  • Oral sedation is a pill given at the start of the appointment, and the pill is held under the tongue until it dissolves.
  • Patients report some tingling sensations initially, then report feeling relaxed, warm, pleasant, a little light-headed, a bit giggly at times, floating, and worry-free.

Please note: The oral sedation portion of combination sedation is ONLY administered in office and no oral sedation obtained from sources outside our office (including medical offices) can be consumed prior to or during appointments in our office according to the guidelines of the BCDA.  With the use of oral sedation as an option, a ride to and from the appointment is necessary and the patient must be released to a responsible person.  Patients using oral sedation must adhere to the office policies around using office supplied oral sedation only, arranging transportation and agreeing to not drive themselves to and from appointments where oral sedation is used