How Your Dentist Can Use Sedation For Your Comfort

14 May 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


It is not unusual to have at least some degree of dental fear. As much as 75 percent of people who visit the dentist have experienced dental phobias or fears. If you dread the dental chair, there is an excellent solution in the form of sedation dentistry. This type of dentistry offers several different solutions to help raise your comfort level while lowering your anxiety. Below, you can read more about the most common dental sedation techniques.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is the mildest type of dental sedation today, but it is still highly effective for people with mild to moderate dental anxiety. Oral sedation comes in the form of capsules or pills. Normally, your dentist will give you the pills as soon as you arrive for your appointment.

It may take a few minutes for the medication to start working, so your dentist won't begin work until you are feeling relaxed. The medications used in this type of dental sedation are prescription drugs like Halcion. Other drugs in the same family, for example valium, might be used as well.

Oral sedation typically allows you to stay awake during the dental appointment. Although wakeful, you will no longer feel the same degree of fear, and you will be less alert. Some people might fall into a light sleep.

IV Sedation

If you have a high degree of anxiety, oral sedation may not be sufficient. Your dentist might administer IV sedatives just prior to the dental procedure to help you relax. You will usually feel only a quick needle stick in your hand or arm as the IV is set up.

Since the IV sends medicine directly into your blood, the medication will take hold quickly. You may fall asleep. If you remain wakeful, you will be vaguely aware of what is going on, but you'll no longer be anxious or feel stressed about it.

The medicine in IV sedation includes not only a liquid form of an anti-anxiety medicine like Halcion, but also a pain medicine. The pain medicine is a narcotic drug that will alleviate pain as well as anxiety.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is sometimes called "laughing gas" because of its ability to elicit a giggling fit from people who have just ingested it. Nitrous Oxide lets you stay conscious, but helps you keep anxiety at bay.

Nitrous Oxide comes in gas form. Your dentist will put a mask lightly atop your mouth and nose and instruct you to breathe in. You will almost immediately feel the relaxation effects, and the dental procedure can begin after that.

Nitrous Oxide is a multi-use medication: It not only works for anxiety, but also for pain. It helps deaden the feeling in your mouth, so that you won't experience as much pain during the dental work.

If anxiety is the only thing holding you back from getting a necessary dental procedure, it doesn't have to be that way ever again. Call a dental clinic like Ann L Ortega DDS, to ask about the possibility of using one of the sedation techniques above during your next appointment. You may never fear the dentist again!