Sedation Dentistry: What Your Dentist May Offer

Posted on: April 1, 2021

Sedation Dentistry Bellevue, WA

Many people postpone preventive or necessary dental procedures due to fear, but fortunately, sedation dentistry can help. Technological advances and newer techniques have made procedures almost pain-free. If you find yourself avoiding the dentist’s office out of fear, you can talk to the dentist about sedation dentistry options that can help you relax. The options are effective and safe to administer.

Sedation dentistry options

Options that the dentist may offer include the following.

Nitrous oxide

Also called laughing gas, nitrous oxide induces mild yet effective sedation. The dentist will administer a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen via a mask placed over the nose and carefully control the dosage. If the patient feels uncomfortable at any point, they can take off the mask.

Nitrous oxide is a great choice for those who want relaxation but do not want to be unconscious. Patients will be awake and responsive yet fully calm and free of fear. Once the mask comes off, the effects quickly dissipate, meaning patients can go home without assistance.

Oral sedation

The dentist will give the patient a pill to ingest. It is often taken about 60 minutes before the dental procedure. Oral sedation will not render the patient unconscious but may put them into a drowsy state, where they might doze off in the dental chair. Patients may not have a recollection of the procedure afterward, but they will be aware that something is going on and will be able to respond to the dentist.

Oral sedation effects may take a while to wear off, so it is advisable to arrange for transportation after treatment. Patients can still manage themselves at home without help.

IV sedation

If the patient prefers to sleep throughout the treatment, then the dentist might recommend intravenous sedation. A trained and experienced dental professional administers the sedation and monitors the patient throughout the procedure. Patients will feel drowsy and easily fall asleep, but they can still be woken.

IV sedation effects remain throughout the rest of the day, so patients are advised to have someone to drive them home and assist them for a while. They will usually not be alert enough to manage themselves, so having someone around can ensure safety and comfort. The effect should wear off by the following morning.

Local anesthetic

This is usually administered to numb the tooth and prevent pain or discomfort during the procedure. The dentist may provide a prescription for pain meds. For deep sedation, patients may not feel any discomfort immediately after the procedure, but using the medications can help prevent pain when the sedation’s effects wear off.

Final note

Not everyone can get sedation dentistry, and a patient may be ineligible for certain types of sedation based on their current medication or health history. The dentist will review the available options with you and recommend the best option in order to give you the best experience possible. The choice of sedation also depends on your anxiety level and the nature of the dental procedure involved.

Request an appointment here: or call Bellevue Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry at (425) 249-9186 for an appointment in our Bellevue office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sedation Dentistry in Bellevue, WA.

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