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Author: Dr. Tontra Lowe

If you experience anxiety when you are at the dentist, you are not alone. In my practice, I have seen people with all kinds of dental anxiety, from mild to severe. At Awesome Smiles Dental Center, my team and I do all we can to make you calm and comfortable. One tool we employ is sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is used to help patients feel relaxed during treatment. Whether you have fear because of a negative experience in the past or just feel uncomfortable having your mouth worked on, sedation can be a great benefit. Let me explain the kinds of sedation we use.

Nitrous oxide – Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a mild sedative you inhale during treatment. It has a pleasant, sweet smell and helps your mind and body relax. Some people feel euphoric or giddy, hence the nickname. It can also suppress sensitive gag reflexes or make time appear to pass quicker. It wears off quickly, typically without side effects.

Oral sedation – For some procedures, I might provide you with an oral sedative to take before you come in. These can be stronger in effect than nitrous oxide, so you should plan on someone else driving you home.

IV sedation – This is administered through the veins. One advantage is that the medication can be monitored and adjusted quickly should the need arise. Although strong, it is still a form of conscious sedation. However, you may fall asleep or not remember all of your visit. Again, someone else will need to drive you home.

I pride myself in providing a caring, sensitive environment for my patients. If you would like to know more about how we use sedation dentistry at Awesome Smiles Dental Center, call my office in Haymarket, VA, today.