No one looks forward to a trip to the dentist, but that doesn’t mean you have to dread it. At Supertooth, in Bethesda, Germantown, and Gaithersburg, Maryland, we understand that even routine dental care can cause anxiety, and that’s why we offer sedation dentistry.
With sedation dentistry, you can get the care you need and stay comfortable at the same time.
When to consider sedation dentistry
If a trip to the dentist fills you with anxiety, sedation dentistry can significantly improve your dental experience. Other reasons to consider this approach might include having:
- A low pain threshold
- Very sensitive teeth
- A strong gag reflex
Sedation dentistry may also be helpful if you need large amounts of dental work.
Degrees of sedation
You may think that sedation dentistry means you remain unconscious throughout your procedure. However, this isn’t always the case. There are different levels of sedation, and together we’ll determine the best type of sedation based on the severity of your anxiety and the extent of your dental issues.
Types of sedation might include:
- Minimal sedation: You’ll remain awake but completely relaxed.
- Moderate sedation: You may slur your speech while talking, and you won’t remember a lot of your procedure.
- Deep sedation: You’ll remain awake, but on the edge of consciousness.
Depending on the level of relaxation you need, we might recommend oral sedation or intravenous sedation.
This simple sedation technique involves a pill, and it works great for mild cases of anxiety and fear. Approximately one hour before your procedure, you simply take a prescription medication to ensure that you stay calm and relaxed throughout your appointment.
While oral medications don't cause heavy sedation, you will still need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
This form of sedation involves nitrous oxide, most commonly known as laughing gas. For this sedation, you inhale the nitrous oxide through a gas mask that covers your nose during your procedure. Inhalation sedation is a great tool for controlling mild to moderate anxiety, and it will start wearing off as soon as you take off the mask.
When you have intravenous sedation, our fully trained and credentialed anesthesiologist administers your medication directly into your bloodstream through an IV. This approach can put you in a relaxed state very quickly. It’s a highly effective option for severe cases of dental anxiety. IV sedation also takes longer to fade, so you’ll need a ride home.
Don't let fear or anxiety delay your visit to the dentist. To see if sedation dentistry can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Supertooth today.