All About Sedation Dentistry

added on: June 22, 2018
woman smiling in dental chair

A healthy, strong smile is one of the best assets you can have. But sometimes getting the dental care you need can be difficult, especially if you have a fear of the dentist. We understand, and you’re not alone. As many as 30 to 40 million Americans avoid the dentist out of fear or anxiety. But the team at our Alexandria dental office wants you to know that a fear of the dentist doesn’t mean you can’t get the dental care you need. By using sedation dentistry, you can visit the dentist without stress, fear, or anxiety.  

Sedation Dentistry Options

  1. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation dentistry yet is still incredibly effective. Administered through a mask, it produces a calm, euphoric feeling that reduces stress. There is no pain involved and it wears off quickly so there’s minimal recovery time.
  2. Oral sedation is the next level of sedation that provides an even deeper relaxation than nitrous oxide. It requires patients to take a pill prior to their appointment, as it takes a little while for the medication to take effect. But once the medicine kicks in, patients are so relaxed that some may even fall into a light sleep. Oral sedation may have a few side effects including feeling sleepy after it wears off.
  3. IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, provides the deepest state of sedation, and since the medication is administered directly into the bloodstream there’s no waiting for it to take effect. However, the side effects can stick around for up to 24 hours post-treatment and may include nausea, dizziness, or excessive tiredness.

Is Sedation Right for You?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my stress level increase at the thought of a dental appointment?
  • Do I need treatment that will take a long time?
  • Do I get so worried that my appointment will be painful or uncomfortable that I get physically sick?
  • Does my anxiety spike just sitting the reception area or even while scheduling an appointment?  

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we encourage you to talk to your dentist in Alexandria about sedation dentistry and which option may be best for you.

We always strive to keep our patients comfortable and stress free every time they visit, but we are always happy to talk to you about your sedation dentistry options or answer any questions you may have. Give our dental office in Alexandria a call to schedule an appointment.

We’re always welcoming new patients from Alexandria, Old Town, Del Ray, and surrounding areas.


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