How Sedation Dentistry Can Improve Your Visit

Thursday April 14, 2016 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

For some people, a visit to the dentist can be filled with anxiety and stress. Dental anxiety is real and many suffer from it. If you tend to feel anxious or nervous before a dental appointment, you’re not alone. There are ways to ease any unpleasant feelings — and one of those ways is sedation dentistry.


Patients may feel nervous about their dental visit for several reasons. Certain procedures can be uncomfortable, and some patients simply have a hard time relaxing during a routine checkup. Whatever the reason—sedation dentistry is available to help calm your nerves.
You may have heard this referred to as “sleep dentistry,” but that is not an accurate description. During sedation dentistry, the patient is usually awake. The only exception is when a patient is under general anesthesia.

There are different levels of sedation dentistry, which include:

- Minimal sedation – the patient is awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation – the patient may slur their words, and their memory of the visit may seem “cloudy.”
- Deep sedation – the patient is on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General anesthesia – the patient is completely unconscious. This is a typical sedation for oral surgery such as wisdom teeth removal.


While every procedure at the dentist isn’t always simple or pain-free,sedation dentistry is an effective way to help the patient relax. If you are curious about whether sedation dentistry is safe, we want to assure you it is. We go through extensive training and certification to ensure safety is our number one priority. Our dentists are trained to administer inhalation sedation, otherwise known as laughing gas, and IV sedation, which is administered into the blood stream.


We are proud to offer two different types of sedation dentistry. This allows us to personalize your visit to your unique needs. Not everyone needs a deep level of sedation, so we offer a lighter form of sedation dentistry. This is known as inhalation sedation, which is what most refer to as “laughing gas.” We administer this through a mask that is placed over your nose; the gas helps you to relax. We control the amount of sedative you receive and the gas tends to wear off within a short period of time. This type of sedation dentistry is great for a routine teeth cleaning appointment.

The second type of sedation we offer is Intravenous Conscious Sedation, also referred to as IV sedation. IV Sedation is an anti-anxiety drug administered into the blood stream during treatment. This sedation method is better than some other sedation methods because it is more reliable and easily controlled. When we administer IV sedation we adjust the levels for each individual. This sedation method also provides a deeper relaxation. While you are under IV sedation, you will understand and respond to the dentist’s request, but you may not remember much—or anything at all from the visit. We can use this method to perform any treatment, including but not limited to tooth extraction, gum restoration, fillings, root canals, crowns, and dentures.

If you experience any kind of anxiety when visiting the dentist, or if your anxiety is so bad you avoid us at all costs, we want to help you. We will ensure that you are comfortable and calm during your visit. Some insurance companies will cover sedation dentistry, so it is important to talk to your insurance provider to see what your coverage allows. When you are ready to make an appointment, let us know you are interested in sedation dentistry. We are glad to be able to provide these services to our wonderful patients. To schedule an appointment today, contact us here!