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Sedation Dentistry – Jonesboro, AR

Make Dental Visits More Relaxing

Does this sound familiar – it’s the day of your dental appointment. You don’t think you’ll need anything but a simple exam and teeth cleaning. You tell yourself to relax. Yet, the closer it gets to the time when you need to leave for the dentist’s office the more anxious you feel. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a year or more because of dental anxiety or nervousness, then Dr. Yarnell can help with sedation dentistry in Jonesboro. Whether you’re in need of dental sedation due to phobia, tooth sensitivity, or another concern, we have just what you need to receive gentle, effective, stress-free dentistry at every appointment. Contact our team to find out more about sedation dentistry services or to schedule an appointment.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Close-up of man wearing mask for nitrous oxide sedation in Jonesboro, AR

Nitrous oxide is one of the most commonly used types of dental sedation. It is normally suggested for those with mild dental anxieties that only need a little bit of help relaxing while their teeth are being treated. Thanks to nitrous oxide sedation, you can stay in a calm and content state during routine dental appointments and various other procedures. Read the information below to see if nitrous oxide sedation might be right for you, and give our office a call if you’re interested in learning more.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Machine used for nitrous oxide sedation in Jonesboro, AR

Nitrous oxide can be a viable option for patients of all ages. We might recommend it if you:

  • Are nervous or afraid of having dental work performed.
  • Are uncomfortable with needles.
  • Are unable to sit still for the duration of your dental appointment.
  • Have a strong gag reflex.
  • Have sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Are resistant to the local anesthetic that is normally used to numb your mouth.

Before we can confirm that you’re a candidate for nitrous oxide, we need to make sure that you don’t have any disqualifying circumstances. For example, if you have a sinus infection or a respiratory disease, nitrous oxide may not be a good option for you. It’s also not recommended if you’re pregnant since it could potentially pose some risks to the fetus while it’s still developing.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work? 

Female dental patient under effects of nitrous oxide sedation in Jonesboro, AR

There is little to no preparation needed for nitrous oxide. Once you’ve gotten settled in the dental chair, we will place a small mask over your nose. The mask will be connected to a special machine that releases nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen. Within a few minutes of breathing in this mixture, you’ll enter a relaxed state where the sights and sounds of our practice won’t bother you. Many patients feel euphoric or sleepy while under the effects of nitrous oxide.

You will still be awake during your treatment, allowing you to answer questions or follow any instructions we might give you. After the mask is removed, it will only take a few minutes for the effects of the nitrous oxide to fade away.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Male patient sitting in dental chair and smiling

You will be asked to wait at our office for a few minutes until we’re sure that the nitrous oxide has worn off entirely. Afterward, you should be alert enough to drive yourself home or back to work.

By itself, nitrous oxide won’t require you to spend any time resting; you can just return to your normal routine right away. That said, patients who have any kind of invasive dental work done might need to plan on taking it easy for a couple of days. Make sure that you follow any aftercare instructions to the letter, and please give us a call if you start experiencing any concerning or unexpected symptoms.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Woman receiving sedation dentistry in Jonesboro

As a sedation dentist in Jonesboro, Dr. Yarnell will prescribe a mild sedative pill for you to take before you arrive for your appointment. This is a great option for patients who have severe dental phobia and have difficulty making themselves leave home for their appointment. Oral conscious sedation is proven to be the ideal solution for those whose anxiety mounts at the thought of dental care. Throughout your treatment, you’ll experience an advanced level of relaxation, and though you’ll remain conscious and able to respond to questions during treatment, you will likely not remember your visit after the sedation has worn off.

Because you’ll be taking a sedative, you must arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You should also consider taking the day after your procedure off from work, school, and other daily activities. Everyone responds differently to sedatives, but most patients need at least 12 hours of rest to return to normal.

IV Sedation

an IV drip

If you have severe dental fear or physical or developmental disabilities that keep you from feeling comfortable in the treatment chair for longer periods of time, IV sedation may be an excellent option for you. The effects of the medication kick-in immediately because it’s administered directly into the blood stream, and throughout your procedure, our team will continue to monitor your vitals and adjust the flow of sedation accordingly. Because the effects can linger for up to a day, it’s also important to have a trusted friend or family member planning to drop you off and pick you up from your appointment.

What is IV Sedation?

a machine that monitors vitals

When you arrive for your procedure, we’ll set up the IV to deliver the medication directly into a vein in your arm. Similar to nitrous oxide, IV sedatives can be adjusted throughout your treatment to ensure you remain comfortable. Once the medication begins taking effect, you’ll feel a relaxing wave hit you, and while you’ll remain conscious throughout your procedure, many patients rarely remember much about their visit.

While you are sedated, Dr. Yarnell, who is an expert at administering sedation, can complete one or more procedures. As with all sedation, your comfort and safety are our primary concerns. Vital signs are closely monitored throughout your care, and you are given plenty of time to recover in the office before you leave.

Who is a Good Candidate for IV Sedation?

a dental hygienist cleaning a patient’s teeth

The best candidates for IV sedation are those who require lengthy or extensive oral surgeries or procedures. The medication will help you comfortably sit through your visit as well as dampen any heightened anxiety or fear you may feel whether that’s associated with visiting the dentist in general or receiving certain procedures.

It can also be helpful for patients who have a very sensitive gag reflex or neuromuscular disorders that could make sitting with your mouth open for long periods of time painful or uncomfortable. Before we administer IV sedation, we’ll conduct a thorough review of your dental and medical history as well as collect a list of any medications you’re taking to ensure it’s safe for you.

The Benefits of IV Sedation

a person relaxing on a couch

If you believe you could be a good fit for IV sedation, learn some of the additional benefits you’ll be able to enjoy from investing in your comfort:

  • Minimize stress and negative memories of the dentist by reaching a state of deep relaxation.
  • Get the dental procedures you need to keep your oral health on the right track despite your nerves or fear.
  • Feel safe under the close monitoring of our skilled and trained staff throughout your visit.
  • Experience near-immediate effects since the medication is administered directly into the blood stream.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Dentists using IV sedation in Jonesboro

As long as you are healthy, there is a good chance you will be eligible to receive sedation dentistry if you experience any of the following situations:

  • You have a sensitive gag reflex
  • You have a physical disability that causes you to experience discomfort while sitting in the dentist’s chair
  • You have mild, moderate, or severe dental anxiety that often keeps you from pursuing regular oral healthcare
  • You are preparing to undergo one or more dental procedures during one visit
  • You have a fear of needles
  • You experienced trauma at a previous dental office

Sharing your complete medical and health history with our team will ensure that you receive the appropriate method of sedation that is safe for you. You can count on us to make sure you are comfortable throughout your entire visit while providing the services you need for optimal oral health.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

If you suffer from dental anxiety, sedation options are available to help you receive dental treatment without all the stress. However, you may still have some unanswered questions, so we’re here to help. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about dental sedation in Jonesboro. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, give us a call. We’d be happy to walk you through the process so you know what you can expect.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Sedation is a perfectly safe option for most patients. Before deciding whether or not to administer sedation, Dr. Yarnell will go over your medical history and current medications. When you are sedated, your dental team will closely monitor your vitals at all times to ensure that you are safe throughout the entire duration of your treatment.

Does dental sedation put you to sleep?

Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” but it doesn’t literally put you to sleep. Because your memories of being sedated will likely be fuzzy, it may feel like you fell asleep even though you will remain conscious and able to respond to your dental team during your procedure. With oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, you may be groggy to the point where you temporarily doze off, but your dental team can gently nudge you awake.

Will I remember anything with dental sedation?

Even though you are technically awake with most forms of sedation, chances are that you won’t remember much of your procedure. IV sedation is more likely to make you forget your procedure than oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide. The memory loss effect that sedation has can make getting dental care easier for patients with extreme anxiety or negative past dental experiences.

Does dental sedation make you tell secrets?

Contrary to popular belief, dental sedation doesn’t act like a “truth serum.” It is highly unlikely that you will reveal any deep, dark secrets while you are sedated. Even if you did happen to say something you normally wouldn’t while you are sedated, you can rest assured that it will be kept within the walls of the dental treatment room.