As a certified periodontal surgeon, laser dentist and dental implant specialist,Arcadia Perio, in Arcadia, California, strives to ensure his patients are comfortable both physically and emotionally. Going to the dentist, even for minor procedures, is harder for some people than it for others. This is why Dr. Fuentes and Dr. Peterson offer a number of anesthesia and sedation options for patients.

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What types of anesthetic and sedation services are available?

Most procedures require at least a local anesthetic, generally delivered as an injection. Prior to using any needles, Dr. Fuentes, Dr. Peterson, or a qualified practitioner on his staff numb the tissue surface with a topical anesthetic solution or gel. The dental practice provides three forms of sedation:

  • IV
  • Oral
  • Nitrous oxide or gas

Dr. Fuentes and Dr. Peterson will discuss each one with you to determine what best suits your needs.

Who might benefit from IV sedation?

IV sedation, or sedation delivered intravenously, is a practical choice for people who suffer from anxiety about their upcoming procedure. A qualified practitioner working alongside Dr. Fuentes or Dr. Peterson will use an IV catheter to introduce a sedating medication such as Demerol to your vein. You remain conscious but feel relaxed and a little bit dazed. After the procedure is done, you may remember very little about it.

When is oral sedation used?

Oral sedation is designed to provide relaxation. Unlike the IV service, there’s no floaty feeling or loss of memory. It just helps calms you down, so you feel less apprehensive while in the dentist’s office. The medication is delivered via a pill, capsule, or liquid that you ingest a few minutes prior to the start of your procedure.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, gets the nickname because it tends to make patients feel light headed and giggly. The gas is delivered via a nose mask, and you breathe it in throughout your procedure. The use of laughing gas helps ease tension and the inhibitions some patients feel during their visit.

Is there any risk with sedation therapy?

Dr. Fuentes, Dr. Peterson, and staff are fully trained to administer anesthetic and sedation medications safely. You’ll need to have someone with you during your appointment, though, since you can’t drive until the anesthetic and sedation medication wears off.