Common Dental Sedation Methods

Dental Sedation Grand Blanc, MI

Dental sedation is a way to make sure patients are comfortable and relaxed during dental procedures. Dental sedation is safe with little risk to the patient, and it helps many people deal with dental anxiety and minimize the overall discomfort and anxiety that they experience during treatment. 

A review of the common dental sedation options

There are three primary types of dental sedation to consider: nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Each is advantageous in its own way, and one may be more appropriate than another depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s medical history. 

No sedation

Patients have the option to not receive any sedation for dental procedures. This is particularly an option for less invasive treatments, such as a dental filling or deep dental cleaning. The dentist can still use a numbing agent to keep the pain to a tolerable level, but the patient may still experience discomfort and feel anxious without any sedation.  

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is often referred to as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is the mildest form of dental sedation, but it is still fairly strong and can help patients relax during simple dental procedures, such as dental cavity fillings. With nitrous oxide, the sedation is given through a mask that the patient wears during the dental procedure. The patient is fully conscious with nitrous oxide and can communicate effectively with the dentist. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off relatively soon after the treatment ends and the mask is removed. 

Oral sedation

Oral sedation is stronger than nitrous oxide and should be used with more caution. Subsequently, it is not typically used for procedures such as dental fillings and is reserved for more extensive procedures. However, oral sedation is completely safe for most patients, depending on their medical history, allergies, etc. This is taken in the form of a pill before the procedure. The patient is less aware during the procedure but can effectively communicate. The patient should arrange for a ride home if oral sedation is used during a procedure, as they may feel groggy for a couple of hours. 

IV sedation

IV sedation is administered through an IV (intravenously). This allows the medication to go directly into the bloodstream for deeper sedation. The patient is somewhat aware and able to communicate but may not remember much, if anything, about the procedure. The patient should ensure that they have a ride home after treatment if IV sedation is used, for optimal safety. There are not many risks with IV sedation, and most patients fully recover within a few hours after the treatment ends. If there are complications, be sure to notify the dentist as soon as possible. 

Learn more about your options for sedation dentistry

Dental sedation is a way to minimize anxiety and make the treatment process more convenient and less stressful. If you would like to learn more about dental sedation and how it can help you get the dental care you need, contact us today.

Request an appointment here: or call Smile Fresh Dental at (810) 515-7083 for an appointment in our Grand Blanc office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Sedations in Grand Blanc, MI.

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