Everything You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

Everything You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

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Sedation Dentistry

Our teeth can greatly influence how we look, so many people go to great lengths to make their teeth look perfect. Brushing and flossing at home is necessary, but this isn’t enough because regular visits to the dentist should also be done. Understandably, going to the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience, but the good news is that dental sedation is an option.

Dental sedation is precisely what it sounds like: dentists use sedation to calm a patients nerves to ensure they are as comfortable as possible when they undergo treatment. It can be used for various dental treatments, from the simplest teeth cleaning to tooth extraction. It’s a highly effective method of calming a nervous patient, but many people have reservations about it. For this reason, we’ll discuss how it works in this article.

What to Expect during Dental Sedation

There are three primary ways that dental sedation is done. These are:

Laughing Gas

Using laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is the least invasive sedation method. While it’s not really a gas, it doesn’t have any unpleasant side effects, and it’s not addictive. It’s perhaps the best way to lessen feelings of anxiety. The downside is that some patients may be sensitive to nitrous, so it’s not suitable for everyone. Laughing gas works quickly, and once it’s administered, there are no after-effects.

Oral Sedation

During oral sedation, a patient is given two doses of pills orally administered a sedative the night before they go into the dentist’s office. The other dose is taken an hour before the appointment, and the patient begins to feel its effects within half an hour. While it’s less common than the previous method, oral sedation is still widely used for patients who are sensitive to laughing gas, and for those who are phobic about dentistry.

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation is much stronger than the other two types, and it’s typically used for patients who require extensive work. With this type of sedation, the patient is completely unaware of everything that’s happening while they’re sedated. Unlike other sedation methods, which wear off in two to three hours, patients who receive IV sedation might need to stay in the dentist’s office for the rest of the day. In this case, it’s best to bring someone who can take you home.

Preparing for Dental Sedation

If you’re planning to get sedated during your dentist appointment, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Drink lots of water the day before your appointment.
  • Empty your stomach to avoid feeling sick from the sedatives. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Cancel all your appointments because it might take an entire day.
  • Bring someone to take you home.

The Benefits of Dental Sedation

With sedation dentistry, a patient can reap the following benefits:

Anxiety and Pain Relief

Dental sedation can make patients feel less anxious about undergoing dental procedures. Anxiety can often make a procedure more difficult, and it may cause you to feel more pain as well.

Fewer Side Effects

When you’re sedated, you’ll undergo procedures without any side effects. This means that you won’t feel lightheaded, fuzzy-headed, or nauseous, which can happen during some dental procedures.

Complete Relaxation

Dental sedation can be used in many procedures, including wisdom teeth removal, gum disease treatment, and dental implants. The patient will be completely relaxed, and this will make procedures safer and more comfortable.

Gag Reflex Reduction

When a patient is sedated, they won’t feel the gag reflex, so there’s no need for an anesthetic that numbs the gums. This can be useful for patients who need lots of dental work done.

Easier Work for the Dentist

Since the patient will be relaxed, the dentist will be able to perform procedures more quickly. Additionally, sedation can sometimes eliminate the need for anesthetics, so the dentist won’t need to use as many tools.


Dental sedation can provide a patient with many positive benefits, especially if they are physically or emotionally sensitive about going to the dentist. Dental sedation is widely used and highly effective for making a person feel comfortable and relaxed during treatment and procedures. Speak with your dentist first to find out if it’s a viable option for you.

If you’re looking for dentists in Manassas, VA, Liberia Dental Care can help you! Our dental specialists can develop solutions to ensure that your teeth maintain their healthy condition, all for affordable prices. Reach out today to book a consultation!

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