Dentistry while you sleep: Nitrous, Oral & IV Sedation

Dentistry while you sleep: Is a mid-day nap right for you?

This dental office uses intravenous (IV), nitrous oxide and oral sedation so that you can relax while dentistry is completed. Do you view dentistry as an awkward or uncomfortable experience? Sedation dentistry solves this problem. Intravenous sedation makes a  dental visit feel like a mid-day nap. One or two hours spent while sleeping in the dental office will seem brief. Additionally, patients have very little memory of the treatment experience. If dental appointments “stress you out” or you find it difficult to sleep the night before your dental visit, then sleep and sedation dentistry will help.

A safe, relaxed and comfortable dental visit is possible.

Feelings of stress and tension are commonly associated with dental treatment. For many people the level of fear and anxiety can be overwhelming. Patients use words such as: apprehension, stress, fear, anxiety, and phobia when describing emotions associated with dental care. In our Houston dental office, everyday we provide a variety of sedation techniques including intravenous sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral sedation to eliminate the anxiety of dental care.


Sedation dentistry can be the first step to improve your dental health.

Have you have been dealing with recurring sensitivity, dental pain or swelling because of your fears? If so, you are not alone and sedation dentistry may be the answer. Many people tolerate great discomfort, choosing to avoid treatment, rather than subject themselves to dental care.

Dr. Kotlarek understands the emotions that patients face during dental care. Roman Dental, Dr. Kotlarek’s West Houston, Texas dental practice located between Katy, Texas and the Houston Galleria in the 77079 Zip code, provides different levels anxiety relief with sedation based on specific patient needs. Dr. Kotlarek received his anesthesia training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine / Montefiore hospital in New York. Dr. Roman Kotlarek is certified by the American Heart Association in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Additionally, he is an active member of The American Dental Society of Anesthesiology.

Sedation dentistry is used for all types of dental care, from cosmetic smile makeovers, porcelain veneers, crown and bridge, root canal therapy, surgical tooth removal with immediate denture placement, dental implant procedures, periodontal (gum) treatment and dental cleanings. The method of sedation varies dependent upon both the patient’s needs and the type of dental treatment being accomplished. Some fearful patients simply require emotional reassurance along with profound local anesthesia (Novocain/ Lidocaine injection).  A comfortable experience for others may require nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation (taking a “sleeping / hypnotic” tablet), or for those who want to be totally unaware, Dr. Kotlarek offers the benefits of IV sedation, sometimes called twilight sleep. In all situations we want to help.

Sleep and sedation dentistry, intravenous, oral and nitrous oxide

Nitrous Oxide / Oxygen (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled through a mask placed around the nose. It is used for patients of all ages. Nitrous oxide is often combined with local anesthetics, pain and anxiety medications. Nitrous oxide raises the pain threshold making dental anesthetic injections comfortable. Additionally, nitrous oxide may make treatment time appear to pass more quickly.

This dental sedation technique provides “conscious sedation.” The patient is awake and capable of rational response to requests and questions. Nitrous oxide commonly produces a happiness and euphoria, earning it the reference “Laughing Gas”.

Laughing gas has this great advantage over other sedatives: it’s fast acting, has few side effects and rapid recovery time enables patients to safely drive a vehicle after treatment.  Once your dental treatment is completed, 100 % oxygen is delivered removing all traces of nitrous oxide from the body and providing an additional boost of energy.  Immediately after the dental visit patients can carry-on with work, child care or recreation.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation creates a deeper level of relaxation and comfort than can be achieved through nitrous oxide alone. A sedative medication is taken by mouth the night prior to the dental visit and then another tablet is taken about an hour before treatment.  Oral sedation may be used in combination with nitrous oxide for increased levels of relaxation and comfort. 

Taking an sedative, by mouth, works well for patients who can normally cope with dental treatment.  Patients experience a drowsy sensation but are awake and able to respond to questions and requests.  Oral sedation works well for patients that enjoy the sedative effect that makes time seem to pass more quickly, treatment more comfortable, less stressful and simply more pleasant.

  • It works effectively for mild to moderate levels of anxiety.
  • It is simple and safe. Sedative/hypnotic tablets are taken prior to your visit.
  • Often patients have little memory of the procedure.
  • Sedation lasts for several hours after you take the medication.
  • You will need a companion to drive you to and from your appointment.

Intravenous  Sedation

Intravenous sedation is often simply called IV Sedation or twilight sleep.  This is the most effective and predictable method of sedation for patients that are very apprehensive regarding dental care as well as for those having extensive treatments.This is the choice of sedation for patients who don’t want any memory of their dental experience. Patients must avoid food and drink for 8 hours prior to treatment.  Patients need an escort to drive them home after treatment.   Sedative and analgesic medicine is delivered through needle access in the arm.  This method allows for great control of sedation level, pain control and anxiety relief.  Although patients are clinically awake, patients have a complete sense of relaxation and comfort.  Following treatment, patients rarely have any recollection of the dental procedure.  IV sedation removes anxiety, stress and memory of dental care.

  • It is effective for significant levels of anxiety.
  • It is effective and can be controlled to last as long as necessary.
  • Patients rarely have any memory of the dental procedure.
  • Time appears to pass quickly; lengthy dental visits seem brief.
  • Treatment can be completed more quickly and in fewer visits.
  • You will need a companion to drive you to and from your appointment.


IV sedation is the most reliable and effective method for comfortably receiving of dental treatment. IV Sedation’s onset of action is immediate and can be controlled to meet the needs of the patient. The intravenous route of sedation allows better control of the depth and duration of the sedation procedure. Alternatively, oral sedation offers the simplicity of  taking a pill with water. However there is not much control over how soon the sedation takes place, how long it lasts or how deeply relaxed the patient will be. Oral sedation creates a relaxed feeling but is not as reliable. Some anxious patients find oral sedation to be “just not enough sedation.”

If you hide your smile, have pain, sensitivity, difficulty chewing, or are avoiding dental care due to fear, gagging or a bad previous experience, we want to help. Dr. M. Roman Kotlarek offers safe and effective sedation techniques. Have your treatment performed quickly and easily in a relaxing atmosphere. If you or someone you know could benefit from sleep and sedation dentistry, our dental practice is located at 14535 Memorial Dr. Houston, Texas 77079.  Give us a call: we are one of few dental practices that offer IV sedation for general dental procedures. We are near Dairy Ashford close to I-10 West between Katy, Texas and the Houston Galleria. Our courteous staff will take the time to listen and help.