Common Methods of Sedation Dentistry

For those who have a fear of going to the dentist, sedation dentistry can help. By gently sedating you during a dental appointment, your dentist is able to clean your teeth while you stay relaxed. Learn about different types of sedation dentistry and when they might be recommended.

How Sedation Dentistry Works

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help people relax during a dental appointment. Most types of sedation dentistry don’t actually put you to sleep; instead, you’re awake but prevented from worry by the medication. Sedation varies in intensity with four levels available:

  • you’re relaxed but awake
  • you’re awake and moderately sedated – you may not remember details after
  • you’re deeply sedated, almost unconscious
  • you’re fully unconscious, under general anesthesia

Types of Sedation Used

Many people prefer to know what type of sedation will be used, as it helps them prepare for the appointment. Here are the most common medications used in sedation dentistry.

  • Inhaled minimal sedation: The lightest form of sedation dentistry uses laughing gas (which is nitrous oxide) to create a sense of relaxation. Laughing gas wears off the fastest; patients who recover quickly can sometimes drive themselves home after treatment.
  • Oral sedation: Oral sedation is either given in advance in the form of a pill or administered at the dentist’s office with a larger dose. People commonly feel groggy or drowsy and may actually snooze during the appointment, but can still be awakened.
  • IV moderate sedation: This technique administers sedation through an IV, which allows the dentist to automate how much is given for a personalized experience.
  • Deep sedation: Deep sedation includes general anesthesia. Patients will be fully or almost unconscious, depending on the level of medication administered.

While sedation relaxes you, it does not prevent you from feeling pain. Thus, your dentist will also use an anesthetic to numb the area where they are working, so that you don’t feel pain.

At Weninger Dentistry, we offer two types of sedation techniques: oral sedation or IV sedation. Our oral sedation options include both medication and laughing gas. Before your dental appointment, we’ll find out what you need and do everything possible to help you prepare, so the experience can be as pleasant as possible. We understand that fear and anxiety often keep people from getting the dental care they need so we want to do whatever possible to make the experience easier for our dental patients. We tend to recommend sedation with patients who have anxiety or fear due to previous dental experience, as well as for patients who need a lot of dental work, have sensitive teeth, become uncomfortable while sitting in the dental chair for a long period of time, or tend to have an active gag reflex.

Do you have a question about sedation dentistry or any of the other services we offer? Call the office to get the information you need, reserve your appointment and take the best care of your teeth and gums: 813-501-6864