Conscious sedation with nitrous oxide consists in inhaling nitrous oxide. The nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and distributed in a mask placed on the patient’s nose. It is colourless and acts rapidly, but its effect wears off in a few minutes. The level of sedation can also be adjusted higher or lower very quickly. Nitrous oxide can also be combined with an oral sedative, if the dentist thinks it is a good idea.
Oral conscious sedation consists in administering an oral sedative before the dental treatment. This effective and safe procedure rarely produces serious secondary effects. However, the medication requires at least 30 minutes to take effect. In addition, since its effect endures after the treatment, patients must make sure that a responsible adult can bring them home.
Parenteral conscious sedation consists in administering the sedative intravenously. The sedative has a very rapid effect and generally causes memory loss. The medication may be gradually administered to ensure the proper dosage for each individual. Usually, intravenous sedation has a more pronounced effect than oral sedation. Patients must make sure that a responsible adult can bring them home.