Dental procedures can produce both pain and anxiety in patients. This is a big reason why people often deal with prolonged pain from cavities or other issues with their teeth and gums and put off seeing a dentist before finally getting treated. We cannot take away your anxiety leading up to coming and seeing us for treatment, but at West Meade Dental, we can offer a number of sedation dentistry options to help you have a pain-free and anxiety-free experience getting your teeth and gums treated.
What Exactly is Sedation Dentistry?
Dental sedation includes a variety of options to help patients feel relaxed during dental procedures and treatments. Sedation techniques work by depressing consciousness to varying extents prior to or during a procedure, addressing pain and discomfort.
Sedation dentistry is not the same thing as local anesthesia applied via shots for a procedure. Still, it is often combined with such techniques to create the most comfortable environment possible for a patient during treatment.
Types of Sedation
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) – this is the most commonly known form of sedation dentistry. It is safe for both children and adults, as patients are aware and awake during the procedure. It is particularly effective when dealing with fear and anxiety. We may recommend this for you or your child as a way to help them calm down, even before more serious pain treatments are applied.
A mask is placed over your nose for the procedure, and we will have you breathe in through your nose. It takes a few minutes to start working, which gives you time to just sit and relax. Laughing gas wears off quickly, which is why other forms of sedation are better for longer or more intense procedures. A benefit is that it won’t impact your ability to drive yourself home or to work after your treatment. Because of its safety and ease of use, we can recommend it for any procedure if we feel like it will help patients, especially those with extreme dental anxiety.
Oral Sedation – stronger and longer-lasting sedation effects can be felt through a pill that is taken an hour or so before your treatment. A patient receiving this option will need to plan for someone to take them to and from the appointment. There are also other recommended preparations for a procedure done under oral sedation, including fasting before the appointment. Unlike laughing gas, oral sedation can make you feel drowsy enough to fall asleep, but our staff can help you stay awake and focused during the procedure when we need you to do something.
We are here to help you understand the options and get the right support for dental treatment and procedures. At West Meade Dental, we have experience with all the techniques to make treatment relaxing and pain-free.