3 Types of Sedation Dentistry — Which One Do You Need?

July 15, 2023

Dental anxiety is a common problem for many people, but that is no reason to neglect the necessary treatments. So, what to do when a patient suffers from dental anxiety but needs treatment? Sedation dentistry makes it possible to transform the dreaded and long dental chair procedures into serene and comfortable experiences. Your dental anxieties melt away as the magic of soothing minds intertwines with numbing discomfort. Did you know there are different types of sedation used in dentistry? Read this blog to learn the different types of sedation used in dentistry and more!

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry, in simple terms, is a moderate level of sedation that puts you at ease while the dental procedure is ongoing. Also known as conscious sedation dentistry or twilight sleep, it induces a state of temporary amnesia, where you will become invulnerable to pain without losing your consciousness. In short, you will be awake, but you will feel relaxed and comfortable. Moreover, the dental procedure will not cause any pain, thanks to the effects of sedation dentistry.

When is Sedation Needed in Dentistry

Children and adults can both benefit from sedation dentistry. Usually, it is recommended in the following instances:

  • Dental Anxiety
  • Fear of visiting the dentist
  • Overly sensitive gag reflex
  • Increased teeth sensitivity
  • Fear of needles
  • Feeling claustrophobic in a dental chair
  • Decreased sensitivity resulting from local anesthesia
  • Trouble controlling movements
  • Special needs

Types of Sedation Dentistry

You will come across various types of sedation dentistry, all of which differ based on your unique needs and condition. Factors such as your anxiety levels, length of the procedure, health history, and personal preference help determine which sedative is the best for you. Generally, there are three types of sedation dentistry, which include the following:

  1. Nitrous Oxide
    You may have heard of laughing gas — that is actually nitrous oxide sedation. The patient is given a mask or nosepiece to inhale the nitrous oxide, which takes effect within three to five minutes. The dentist has control over the amount of sedation you receive, and they will adjust the dosages as needed throughout the procedure. After the treatment is complete, the dentist gives the patient pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out. Laughing gas does not need much time to leave your system; you’ll be able to drive back home after the procedure! Still, to be on the safe side, you should bring someone with you.
  2. Oral Conscious Sedation
    The dentist will provide the patient with sedative medication, usually a pill, an hour before the procedure starts. Known as Oral Conscious Sedation, the medication makes you groggy, but you will still be capable of communicating with the dentist. Sometimes, patients even fall asleep, but they can awaken with a gentle nudge. You will need someone to drive you home after the treatment since oral sedation affects your memory as well as motor skills for a short period.
  3. Intravenous or IV Sedation
    There is another type of sedation dentistry: Intravenous Sedation. Also known as IV sedation, it is the deepest form of conscious sedation in dentistry, and it is administered directly into the bloodstream with the help of an IV line. The dentist will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels throughout the procedure to adjust the dosage accordingly. Moreover, they may give reversal medications if the need arises. Typically, patients fall asleep due to IV sedation and have no memory of the treatment later. This is a suitable option for those who deal with severe anxiety or have to undergo lengthy procedures.

Step into a Comfortable Dental Experience!

You can opt for sedation in dentistry, and your dentist will help you determine which treatment type is better for you based on a few factors. On average, three types of sedation dentistry are used: nitrous oxide sedation, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.

At College Station Periodontics, we offer comfortable and safe procedures to improve your oral health. Talk to us at (979) 383-2230 now to book an appointment. You can also head to our clinic at 3318 Longmire Dr., College Station, TX 77845.


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