Lots of patients are fearful or anxious about going to the dentist. Thankfully, sedation dentistry can help them feel more relaxed during their appointment. There are various forms of sedation offering various levels of relaxation based on your needs. Here, we break down what sedation dentistry entails, who can benefit, and the differences between the different forms:

There are many reasons why patients ask for sedation dentistry. If you have a fear of needles, certain dental procedures or tools, or tooth extractions, sedation dentistry could help you be more comfortable. It may be a fear of the dentist or past traumatic experiences with a dentist. They may have a sensitive gag reflex or physical discomfort when sitting in the treatment chair. Many people who get multiple treatments done in one sitting may request this for relaxation.

There are three kinds of sedation – oral sedatives, intravenous sedation and nitrous oxide. You are conscious during all three forms of sedation.

Oral sedatives are prescription pills that are administered in the office before the procedure. This sedation allows you to remain awake and responsive but relaxed and sleepy. Intravenous sedation is for patients who have moderate to severe anxiety, or have difficult or lengthy procedures. When medications are provided through an IV, they work fast. The level of sedation can be adjusted throughout the procedure. An anesthetic reversal agent called OraVerse can help you come out of anesthesia quickly if needed.

Nitrous oxide is also known as “laughing gas.” This is administered with oxygen through a mask placed over your nose. It’s a good option for those who need to relax and those who have minor anxiety. It’s mild sedation that wears off quickly.

Patient comfort is the key to successful dental care. Sedation dentistry is an effective way to achieve relaxation for anything from cleaning to complex procedures. To learn more about sedation dentistry options, call 713-425-1302 for a consultation with our team.

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