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Author: Dr. Tontra Lowe

Does the idea of visiting a dentist’s office make you feel nervous or uneasy? Don’t worry. We understand perfectly. My staff and I all get to be dental patients, too, from time to time!

To help you feel more comfortable when you visit our office, we are happy to offer sedation dentistry. This may be right for you, if you have extremely sensitive teeth, a gag reflex, or need extensive dental work.

Fortunately, there are several types of sedation that help me care for a variety of patients. To help you know what you should expect, I’m happy to list three of the most common types of sedation:

1. Nitrous Oxide — Perhaps the most common form of sedation is nitrous oxide (more commonly known as “laughing gas”). This particular type of sedation is inhaled through a special mask and should start working after only a few minutes. Nitrous oxide will not usually put a patient to sleep, but it helps those with anxiety to feel more relaxed and comfortable.

2. Oral Sedation — Based on your needs, I may also prescribe a pill for you to swallow the night before your appointment and another for you to take an hour before we meet for your procedure. Depending on your particular needs, I may need to adjust the dosage accordingly. After taking this type of sedation, you may fall asleep, though you can usually be woken up with a light shake.

3. IV Sedation — Through IV sedation we administer a relaxing medication directly into a vein. This allows the sedation to work very quickly, and it allows me to easily adjust the level of sedation, as necessary. Generally, you will remain awake, though you will probably feel very peaceful and sleepy during your treatment. This method of sedation does require some recovery time, so you will need to bring someone to drive you home afterward.

If you would like to learn more about sedation dentistry, please feel free to contact our office at 571-261-2600, and we’ll be happy to help. I’m excited to hear from you!