A Complete Guide to Sedation Dentistry

A Complete Guide to Sedation Dentistry

Visiting the dentist can give some of us serious anxiety. We may even debate the idea of enduring the toothache rather than booking an appointment with our dentist.  

According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, almost 30% of people in need of dental attention avoid going to a dental clinic out of fear.

This should no longer be an issue anymore. Sedation dentistry provides patients with an anxiety-free experience, allowing those with dental phobia to receive the medical attention they need.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation refers to the process whereby the patient is put in a calm state through the use of sedatives. Various kinds of methods of sedation have different effects on patients. Some drugs help you relax while others put you in a deep sleep during the procedure.

Your doctor will recommend the type of sedation after going over your medical history and how serious your anxiety is.

Below are a few common ways o practicing sedation dentistry.

Inhaling Nitrous Oxide

This is a relatively low-tier practice and involves the patient breathing in a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen; this is also known as laughing gas.

This gas is usually administered through a breathing mask. Your dentist will have control over the amount of gas you receive and will adjust this throughout the procedure—depending on how quickly the gas wears off.

The California Dental Association states that motor skills and attention is affected for approximately 15 minutes after administration of nitrous oxide. It’s imperative you ask your dentist whether it’s safe to drive after receiving the gas.

Oral Sedation

Otherwise known as conscious sedation is administered in the form of pills. This can range from minimal to moderate. The pill, usually Halcion, is taken an hour before the procedure starts.

Depending on the severity of the procedure, a moderate anxiolytic may be prescribed by the doctor. Some people may become groggy from a higher dose and may end up falling asleep.

This method is relatively more popular owing to the fact that oral sedation is more accessible to dentists.

General Anesthesia

This is the last resort measure. If your orthodontist deems the procedure to be too uncomfortable, they may recommend you go under.

You will be completely unconscious during and even after the procedure. You may experience some dizziness or grogginess after the procedure—it’ll be helpful to have someone around to look after you.

If you experience high levels of anxiety while in the dentist’s chair, you can always ask them to explore the option of sedation dentistry with you.

If you’re seeking a dental clinical in Bethesda, we at Bethesda Dental Health, would be happy to serve!

We have expert dental care providers who offer sedation dentistry to help put our patients at ease.  Call us at (301) 654-1887 or schedule an appointment online.


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