How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

woman undergoing dental sedation to overcome anxiety

Research shows 1 in 3 Americans struggle with dental anxiety. There are a handful of possible triggers, like a negative experience in the past or tooth sensitivity. People (especially children) with certain disabilities often deal with dental anxiety, too. Even if you aren’t nervous, there are situations where sedation makes an appointment easier. How does sedation dentistry work?

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is a great tool for relaxation. We’ll put a mask over your nose and mouth, allowing you to breathe in the sweet-smelling gas. You’ll remain awake and able to talk to us during your appointment, but you’ll feel totally relaxed and dreamy. When we’re finished, we’ll remove the mask and let you take a few breaths. You’ll be back to normal in a few minutes and can drive yourself home.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Taken in pill form, oral conscious sedation is stronger than laughing gas. You’ll take the pill a prescribed amount of time before your appointment (usually about an hour), so by the time you’re in the chair, you’ll feel the effects. As with laughing gas, you’ll be awake but completely relaxed. Because it takes the pill a few hours to wear off, you’ll need someone to drive you home.

Is Dental Sedation Safe for Everyone?

We’ll always ask about your medical history and any medications you’re taking. We’ll also want to know if you’re pregnant or believe you could be pregnant. While most people can undergo sedation, some aren’t good candidates. We will always be upfront about the risks and our recommendations. If sedation does work for you, you’ll be closely monitored during your appointment.

Dental Sedation at River Vista Dentistry in Charlotte, NC

Dental sedation is a safe and effective way to address dental anxiety. If you have more questions about dental sedation or need treatment, please contact us today to set up an appointment with Dr. Marshall!

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