Sedation Dentistry


The American Dental Association estimates that 22% of Americans avoid dental visits due to fear and anxiety. Putting off dental visits increases the risk of tooth loss, dental infections, and even oral cancer. Fortunately, sedation dentistry allows patients to obtain the necessary dental care without the pain and anxiety they normally experience.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a excellent choice for patients who feel anxious or nervous about their dental treatment. Sedation dentistry involves using a sedative medication to help you feel more relaxed and calm during your dental visit. There are several types of sedation dentistry available based on your individual needs and preferences including:

  • IV Sedation
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Oral Conscious Sedation

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, is a sedative gas that is mixed with oxygen. You simply inhale the gas during your treatment to help you feel more relaxed. Nitrous oxide is a mild form of sedation that wears off within a few minutes after the flow of gas is stopped.

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Oral sedation

Oral sedation involves taking an oral medication before your treatment. By the time of your appointment, you will feel calm and at ease. Patients take the oral sedative in the hours leading up to the appointment.

The oral sedative is a type of Benzodiazepine (ex: Valium, Halcion, Xanax), which decreases activity in the parts of the brain that control fear and anxiety. The result is allowing the patient to feel very relaxed and calm and allow your dentist to effectively perform the procedure.

IV Sedation

IV Sedation is typically used for longer and more in-depth procedures, and involves administering the medication through the veins. This type of sedation enables our dentist to provide the sedation more quickly, and we can also easily control the level of sedation to ensure that you stay comfortable. IV sedation is a form of conscious sedation, meaning that it will not make you unconscious, but you may feel so relaxed that you fall asleep during your treatment. You may also not remember all of the details of your visit.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?

If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, have had negative experiences at previous dental visits, or if you simply feel nervous about your upcoming dental treatment, sedation dentistry can help you feel more at relaxed. For more information on sedation dentistry and how it can make your dental experience more pleasant, call our office today to get more information on the requirements or side effects of sedation dentistry at our Litchfield Park dental office.