Sedation Dentistry

Dr. Fordham recognizes that dentistry is often a great source of anxiety for many dental patients. With the use of sedation dentistry, this experience can be greatly improved. We offer sedation medications to patients prior to arriving for appointments so that we are able to perform dental procedures, while patients remain free of anxiety.

Sedation Dentistry helps patients manage their...

  • High fear of needles
  • Going to the dentist
  • Embarrassement about their teeth
  • Traumatic dental experiences
  • Significant gag reflex
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • Difficulty keeping still during proceedures

Pre-medication - you and Dr. Fordham will discuss prescriptive options and instructions prior to treatment. Though completely relaxed, patients will be awake enough to respond to their dentist. Sedation dentistry reduces the body’s natural tendency to tense muscles while stressed. This can create a more effective dental visit, allowing much more to be accomplished while eliminating concerns about discomfort and pain.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe; the patient receives 50-70 percent oxygen with no less than 30 percent nitrous oxide. It is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled.  The patient is able to breathe on his or her own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.

There are many advantages to using nitrous oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a "hangover"
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart or lungs
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging
  • It works rapidly reaching the brain within 20 seconds. In as few as two to three minutes, its relaxation and pain-killing properties develop.

Reasons Not To Use Nitrous Oxide

Though there are no major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you are pregnant, have emphysema, chest problems, multiple sclerosis, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.