Sedation Dentistry

Dental anxiety is an extremely common condition that can prevent people from receiving needed dental treatments and procedures. When the patient realizes that postponing dental care is only making the situation worse, the anxiety can grow even further. If you commonly deal with anxiety at the dentist office, you should know that techniques like sedation dentistry are available to help make you completely relaxed and comfortable during your appointment.

Candidates for Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry can help if you are dealing with any of the following:

  • Dentist anxiety or phobia
  • Fear of needles
  • Severe tooth sensitivity
  • Needing multiple procedures during one appointment
  • Difficulty remaining still for a long time
  • Inadequate response to local anesthesia

Your Sedation Options

There are numerous types of sedation available, depending upon your individual situation.

Oral Sedation: This type of sedation is delivered via a pill and is a very common type of sedation. It can help you completely relax while you’re being examined.

IV Sedation: IV sedation provides a similar level of experience and comfort as oral sedation, but it is given intravenously by trained dental professionals.

Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is delivered via a mask that is worn by the patient. The effects come on very quickly to ensure that you are very relaxed and comfortable.

General Anesthesia: General anesthesia is given when the patient needs to be completely unconscious. You would fall into a deep sleep, which may be necessary for those with extreme dental anxiety.

Sedation Preparations

Be sure to tell your dentist if you are taking any type of prescription medications. The reason this is important is that certain types of medications can interact with sedation medications.

You may also be instructed to avoid eating or drinking certain foods and beverages before your procedure that would involve sedation. This helps avoid problems like nausea and stomach upset. Most procedures that require fasting will take place in the morning.

You should also avoid smoking tobacco products and drinking alcohol before dental sedation is administered. Dentists typically require patients to avoid smoking for at least 12 hours before any type of dental procedure. You will also need to avoid drinking alcohol for a specified amount of time, as alcohol can greatly increase sedation risks.

Another consideration is that you need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your dental visit. This is because many types of sedation have lingering effects that could make it dangerous to drive. One exception is nitrous oxide, which wears off soon after you stop inhaling it.

For More Information

If you would like to receive additional information about your sedation dentistry options, please contact our office to ask any questions that you may have, or to schedule a consultation.

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Still have questions?

If you have questions about Galleria Dental Arts, get in touch with our friendly team today at (703) 368-9777.