Sedation Dentistry: Types, What It Is & What To Expect

Sedation Dentistry: Types, What It Is & What To Expect

Posted by Stonewall Dental on Jan 4 2023, 10:24 PM

Sedation dentistry is an oral health treatment method that uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. This is commonly done for patients with dental anxiety or for patients who need to undergo long or complex treatments. 

Dentists often prefer to use minor sedatives first before resorting to heavier methods. These medications can help make the patient feel more at ease and less anxious about the dental procedure ahead, allowing them to be less agitated and more responsive to the dental care provider’s instructions. This can also help in providing the best treatment results possible for the patient.

Patients who suffer from dental anxiety or who have a low pain threshold can benefit greatly from sedation dentistry. Studies show that approximately 15% of adults avoid the dentist because of anxiety and fear related to going to a dentist’s office. This means many patients suffer from untreated tooth decay or other oral problems because of this fear. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can allow these patients to get the care they need without experiencing anxiety or discomfort during their dental treatments. This can be vital to maintaining good dental health over a lifetime. Patients who have put off dental work due to dental anxiety are also great candidates for sedation dentistry.

Who Can Benefit From Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can benefit not only fearful patients but those who have trouble sitting for long periods of time and those who need more than one procedure performed during a single appointment. Many adults who have severe dental anxiety put off preventative care and necessary treatment, so sedation dentistry can give them the peace of mind they need to get the care they need.

Patients with a strong gag reflex or extreme anxiety may have a hard time getting through even basic procedures when they don’t have sedation. With sedation, they can get through their treatment without issue, so they won’t have to have a long wait with much more significant dental problems as a result. 

Patients with strong dental fears can also benefit from sedation because it allows them to relax enough to get through a procedure that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. This can help remove their fears about dental care so they can have a healthy smile for life. 

Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are multiple sedation methods available at your dentist’s office, including laughing gas and IV sedation. The type of sedation you get will depend on your level of anxiety as well as your health history. Some patients prefer to have a light sedative to help them feel calm and relaxed during their dental treatments, while others are so anxious that they can’t even sit in the dentist’s chair without full sedation. Talk to your dentist about which type of sedation is right for you.

  • Oral sedation– medications that you take by mouth before your appointment to help you relax and stay comfortable during your treatment.
  • Nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas. This numbs the gums and helps you relax during your appointment. You breathe in the gas through a mask over your nose. Your dentist will then remove the mask, and you will begin to feel more awake after a few minutes of breathing normally again.
  • IV sedation– medication is administered through an IV in your arm or hand. The medicine will help you sleep through the procedure. You will usually need to have a driver take you home after your procedure.
  • General anesthesia – this involves being completely asleep for your entire procedure via an anesthetic through an IV. You will not feel anything during the procedure. You will need someone to bring you home and stay with you for the rest of the day.

To learn more, get in touch with the dentists at Stonewall Dental by calling (703) 368-1000 or visiting the office at 8719 Stonewall Road, Manassas, VA 20110.

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8719 Stonewall Rd, Manassas, VA 20110

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