What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help patients relax before and during a dental appointment or procedure. While many people know about different types of numbing options, dental sedatives ease anxiety, oral sensitivity, or procedural discomfort. They can be necessary to make a patient’s experience at the dentist's office much better. Sedation options typically include inhaled sedation, pre-op sedatives, and oral sedation.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is typically offered to help patients suffering from anxiety or oral sensitivity, either of which would make relaxing and receiving dental care more difficult. With dental sedation, patients can:
- Arrive at their appointments anxiety-free.
- Reduce their anxiety about future dental appointments.
- Stay relaxed during lengthy procedures.
- More easily receive treatment despite sensitive teeth or gums.
- More easily receive treatment despite having a strong gag reflex.
Several Kinds of Sedation Options
As mentioned previously, common sedation options include inhaled sedation, pre-op sedatives, and oral sedation. The best sedation option varies by dental procedure, desired effect, and the patient’s age. Read on to understand your options.
Inhaled sedation is commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” Inhaled sedatives are administered at the dentist’s office right before a dental procedure and are often the mildest form of sedation.
Duration: The effects of inhaled sedation last from when the mask is put on to about 3-5 minutes after the mask is removed. Inhaled sedatives should not impact your motor skills, meaning that you will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.
Safe for: All ages
Pre-op sedatives are typically given to a patient before a dental procedure so that the patient is calm and relaxed during an anxiety-inducing procedure.
Duration: The effects of pre-op sedatives can vary and typically last from administration to post-op. Having someone drive you from your dental appointment after taking a pre-op sedative is generally required.
Safe for: Ages 12+
Oral sedatives are typically given to a patient during their consultation appointment before a procedural appointment. The sedatives can be self-administered and take effect before arriving at the dental office. Having someone drive you to and from your appointment when taking an oral sedative is required, as you will be in a state of relaxation that impacts your reaction times, decision-making, and general awareness.
Duration: The effects of oral sedation last from administration pre-op, to after your procedure, post-op.
Safe for: Ages 2+
Ease Your Anxiety & Get the Quality Dental Care You Need
If you think sedation dentistry would be a good option for you or your loved ones, ask about dental sedation options at your next dental appointment at Northwest Dental Group. Our team will help you make an informed decision by discussing each method in more detail and answering any questions you may have. If you opt for a sedation process that requires additional planning pre- or post-op, they will cover these details ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly.
At Northwest Dental Group, our mission is to provide high-quality, patient-centered dentistry where your comfort comes first. We understand that dealing with dental anxiety is very stressful. Our team takes additional steps to make your experience positive, including offering a calm office atmosphere and comfort options like blankets.
To learn more about our Rochester, MN sedation dentistry options, call us at (507) 203-2332 or fill out our online form. Whether you are undergoing a tooth extraction or are simply a bit nervous about a dental exam, we will help you find the right kind of sedation.