I need to have a dental crown placed. I’m seriously nervous about this. This is my first cavity and my first crown all in one. My dentist said if I’m super nervous he can use dental sedation to help. I don’t know what to expect for this procedure and I can’t figure out which type of sedation to choose. I’m either going to get nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation. He said he offers both and I need to just pick which one I’d like. The problem is I can’t figure that out. Do you have a recommendation?
This is a great question. Let’s start with your procedure so you have an idea of what to expect when you go in. I’ll explain it without the sedation first and then we’ll go over the two options your dentist mentioned.
Your dentist will give you some numbing medication. It’s it is a topical anesthetic. Once you are numb he will remove the decay and remove enough structure from the tooth to fit the crown over it.
You didn’t mention if he’s doing a traditional crown or a CEREC crown. If it’s a CEREC crown, it will be milled right there during your appointment. He’ll bond it on and you’ll go home with your permanent crown. If it is a traditional porcelain crown, then you’ll be provided with a temporary crown and the permanent one will be created in a lab. Then, when it is ready your dentist will bond it on. It’s a fairly simple procedure. However, dental anxiety can even make the simplest of procedures seem larger than life.
Which type of dental sedation you choose will depend on how distressing the procedure seems to you.
Dental Sedation with Nitrous Oxide
This is the mildest form of sedation. Your dentist will place a nosepiece on you, such as the one pictured above, and turn on the nitrous oxide gas. This used to be dubbed laughing gas. It doesn’t make you silly. However, it will give you a floaty relaxed feeling.
If mild anxiety is what you are dealing with, this is a fantastic solution. It will relax you enough to calm you while the dentist does the procedure and the topical anesthetic will keep you pain-free. Once your procedure is over, the dentist will switch the gas to oxygen and you’ll be ready to get on with your day. There are no real restrictions and you can return to your duties for the remainder of your day if you’d like.
Dental Sedation with Oral Conscious Sedation
This is for patients with more severe anxiety. It’s much stronger. You’ll take a pill before your appointment, but it will keep you pretty relaxed. You’ll be too relaxed to drive yourself to and from your appointment. Your dentist will require you to have someone to be your driver as well as stay with you throughout the day until you are lucid and steady on your feet again.
You will not be able to just get on with your day with this particular type of sedation. It’s too strong for that. Plan on binging on Netflix, reading your favorite book, and napping throughout the remainder of your day.
This blog is brought to you by La Crescenta Dentist Dr. Robert Thein.