Sedation dentistry is the practice of using medication to help patients relax and remain comfortable throughout their dental appointment. There are three levels of sedation:

  • Minimal sedation. Minimal sedation allows patients to feel relaxed. They can still be aware of their surroundings, but most patients will fall asleep.
  • Moderate sedation.Moderate sedation allows patients to feel relaxed. They can still be aware of their surroundings, but most patients will fall asleep.
  • Deep sedation. Deep sedation allows patients to be completely asleep.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are three main types of sedation dentistry that your Dentist in Federal Way, WA can provide to help patients relax during dental procedures, which can involve anything from a simple cleaning to invasive or complicated treatments.

  • Oral sedation

Oral sedation involves prescribing and administering a sedative drug in pill form. The pill is taken an hour before the dental procedure. This sedative typically produces calming effects, such as drowsiness, but may also make patients feel groggy and disoriented.

  • Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide gas, more commonly known as laughing gas, is mild sedation administered through inhalation. It works fast, has a fast recovery time, and wears off quickly. Nitrous oxide doesn’t produce any lasting effects when inhaled, and patients are able to return to work or school after leaving the dentist’s office. This form of sedation is commonly used for patients who are nervous about their dental treatments but don’t need a higher level of sedation.

  • Intravenous sedation

Intravenous, or IV, sedation is administered through an injection. IV sedation places patients in a state of deep relaxation. While under IV sedation, patients typically experience extreme drowsiness and may not remember their dental appointment. IV sedation is usually reserved for patients with moderate to severe dental anxiety and phobia.

Who Can Benefit From Sedation Dentistry?

When patients feel anxiety about going to the dentist, sedation dentistry can help them feel more relaxed. Dental phobias are very common and range from mild to severe. Dental patients who suffer from dental anxiety, dental phobia, or just nervousness about the dental visit can benefit from sedation dentistry. Often, these patients put off necessary dental treatments because of these fears. Sedation dentistry, however, can help these patients receive the treatment they need. Sedation dentistry can also help those with a sensitive gag reflex, difficulty getting numb, or who can’t sit still for a long period of time.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, contact Dr. Dennis Hahn at Marine Hills Dentistry by calling (253) 839-2800 or visiting us at 1500 S Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA 98003.

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