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The Various Types of Sedation in Dentistry

Meet sedation dentistry — a painless approach to dentistry that makes the entire process more comfortable for patients. Sedation dentistry involves the use of painless sedatives, allowing our doctors to work while you sleep. If traditional dentistry makes you anxious or uneasy — or you’d simply prefer to sleep during your next oral surgery — sedation dentistry is a viable dental option.

Sedation dentistry types

All sedation dentistry fosters a comfortable patient experience through the use of approved sedatives. However, your dentist might use one of several sedation dentistry types, depending on your individual needs. Popular sedation dentistry types include:

  • Inhaled sedation — Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is one of the most popular forms of sedation used in dentistry. Laughing gas is a more mild sedative compared to other options, but it can provide powerful relief for basic procedures.
  • Oral sedation — Oral sedation is another common sedative dentists will implement during patient care. While the sedation intensity can vary from person to person, a controlled dose of oral sedation will help alleviate pain and prolong painless operations. Some patients may feel sleepy or tired after a moderate amount of oral sedation.
  • IV sedation — This sedation dentistry method is what most people think of when they ask to be “put under” for an operation. IV sedation places patients into a deep sleep, and allows dentists to monitor sedation levels. Typically, IV sedation is more commonly used during longer procedures.

No matter the type of sedation dentistry your dentist opts to use for any procedure, sedation dentistry itself offers patients the opportunity to trade dental anxiety for peace of mind.

Oral sedatives

One of the other dental oral sedation methods you may have already heard of, Valium, is a type of sedative that is taken orally and is one of the most commonly known sedatives. This will help you relax as the dentist does their work. Don’t worry though; as stated above, you will just feel a little groggy afterward, but it is always safe to secure a ride home if you know you are going to be put under a mild sedative. This is the most common form of sedation as it pertains to procedures.

IV administered sedatives

While not as common, the use of general anesthesia is a tool in many dentists’ medical bags; this is saved for more complex and lengthy procedures. The procedure typically requires more in-depth dental work that common numbing gels cannot handle. While it may sound scary to be put under, there is a benefit to you not feeling the pain and waking up with a finished dental procedure. Like dental oral sedation, you will want to secure a ride from the office to your home after the procedure is complete.

Numbing gels

While it is not a sedative, you have probably been given medication in the past to help alleviate the pain of dental procedures. Have you ever had numbing gel used before getting a filling? This is one of many tools that a dentist will use to help the process of painless dentistry. 

Common sedation dentistry misconceptions

One common misconception when it comes to sedation is that the patient is “asleep” while this is accurate when under the effects of anesthesia, it is less accurate when we speak of oral sedation or laughing gas. You may feel drowsy while under the effects of these methods, but you will be awake while under the influence of both oral and gas sedatives. 

Sedation dentistry — relaxation during any dental procedure

Our trained professionals will help answer any of your questions and concerns before your procedure. We’ll ensure that your sedation levels are appropriate, and your doctor will monitor you during your procedure. After all, your health and safety is our primary concern when it comes to dental visits, and we want to make that process much easier and alleviate any anxious or nervous feelings you might experience.

Still have questions about sedation dentistry? We are here to help!

Call us today at (702) 852-2829 or book your appointment today!

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