Sedation Dentistry |3 min read

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

woman sitting in dental chair
Do you have anxiety when thinking about your next dentist appointment?

You’re not alone.

Millions of Americans avoid the dentist each year due to this fear!

But we’re here to tell you the solution many patients utilize before and/or during their dental treatment:

Sedation dentistry.

It eliminates any stress you may feel and relaxes you during your procedure.

But what exactly is sedation dentistry?

In our quick blog, we’ll focus on:

  • What sedation dentistry is
  • Types of sedation dentistry
  • How long it lasts
  • If there are sensations of pain when under sedation

Let’s dive right in.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry ranges from medications and methods to relieve stress and pain during dental procedures.

Most dental professionals offer three main types of sedation dentistry: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and intravenous sedation.

Sedation dentistry works well for patients who:

  • Suffer from dental anxiety and fear
  • Need multiple treatments done at the same time
  • Are getting oral surgery

A local anesthetic may be combined with a sedation dentistry method, depending on what procedure you need to get. Local anesthesia only numbs a small area to prevent pain and is not technically considered a type of sedation dentistry.

Your dentist in Tukwila, WA will evaluate your medical history and current health to determine the correct method for you.

What are the types of sedation dentistry?

The three types of sedation dentistry are:

  • Nitrous oxide
  • Oral sedation
  • IV sedation

Nitrous oxide

You may have heard of nitrous oxide before. Otherwise known as laughing gas, it’s one of the lightest and most popular forms of sedation dentistry.

You inhale the gas from a face mask, and the gas has no color, no smell, and doesn’t irritate you.

Within 2-3 minutes, you’ll feel relaxed and start to feel giggly!

The best part?

You’ll be able to drive home without needing an escort! It’s eliminated from the body within 3-5 minutes after the mask is taken off.

Oral sedation

Oral sedation involves anti-anxiety medication, including Valium, Xanax, or Ativan.

You’ll experience a calming effect, drowsiness, and feel very giddy.

The most important thing about oral sedation is:

Don’t drive home by yourself! You’ll need an escort for this method.

IV sedation

IV sedation is administered directly into your bloodstream by an anesthesiologist.

Your conscious level will vary depending on the level of sedative administered. If needed, it’ll allow you to be completely asleep throughout your procedure!

Otherwise, you’ll feel sleepy but can still respond to requests from your dentist.

Your memory may be a little foggy afterwards, so don’t forget:

Bring an escort! Don’t drive home by yourself.

How long does dental sedation last?

It depends on which type of sedation was administered.

With nitrous oxide, once your dentist removes the mask, the effects of the gas will be quickly reversed!

If you’ve taken an oral sedation pill, you should take the rest of the day to relax for the medication to wear off.

With IV sedation, a good rule of thumb is also to take the rest of the day off and take it easy.

Will I feel any pain with dental sedation?

No, you won’t feel any pain during your dental procedure with sedation dentistry.

Once it wears off, you may feel discomfort and should ask your doctor for at-home care instructions.

Where can I find a sedation dentist in Tukwila, WA?

Drs. Patricia and Laura Benca and Dr. Adam Gee prioritizes your comfort and relaxation during your dental visits by offering sedation dentistry during your appointments.

Our sedation options include nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation.

In addition, our modern office includes cozy blankets, noise-canceling headphones, and complimentary water to minimize any further stress you may feel.

Ready to conquer your dental anxiety?

Our office is conveniently located in Tukwila, WA… This text opens a new tab to the Google Maps website…, and we happily welcome patients from the neighboring communities, including Kent, Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, and Newcastle, WA.

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