Sedation Dentistry

If you avoid seeing a dentist because you are afraid of pain, dental instruments or you experience dental anxiety by the thought of going to a dentist, then IV sedation is an option for you. Get a free consultation with Dr. Dhillon. She is an experienced dentist and is certified to administer IV sedation in Virginia. Book your appointment at Impact Dental Care, Lorton. Call now 703-952-6600 or Schedule Online.

Impact Dental Care Comfort Sedation

Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist's office? You're not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment. Studies show that 30% of US adults are “dental phobic”.

What is sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry," although that's not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake, with-the-exception of those who are under general anesthesia.



What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?

The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:

  • Inhaled minimal sedation - You breathe nitrous oxide -- otherwise known as "laughing gas" -- combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral sedation - Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it's usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you'll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
  • IV moderate sedation - You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia - You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious -- deeply asleep -- during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you'll also typically need a local anesthetic -- numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth -- to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.

Who Can Have Sedation at the Dentist's?

Sedation is most appropriate for people with a real fear or anxiety that is preventing them from going to the dentist.

Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:

  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Can't sit still in the dentist's chair
  • Have very sensitive teeth
  • Have a bad gag reflex
  • Need a large amount of dental work completed

Sometimes, children are given sedation if they are terrified of going to the dentist or refuse to cooperate during the visit.

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