If you’re like most, your fear of the dentist likely stems from a fear of pain. Right? And if that’s the case, you've probably looked into sedation dentistry. If you are unfamiliar with it, sedation dentistry uses medication to help you relax during your procedure. But you’re probably still wondering: Do you feel pain with sedation dentistry? The short answer: No. You do not feel pain with sedation dentistry. The more convincing answer: Dentists use a combination of sedation and anesthetic to keep you relaxed and pain-free throughout your procedure. Many patients leave the appointment with little to no memory of their treatment and feel good afterward. And if you froze at the word "anesthetic," don’t worry. Depending on your level or type of fear, there are various sedation dentistry options available from inhalation sedation, oral sedation to IV sedation. All of these options serve the purpose of making you relaxed and comfortable - eliminating the fear of pain. So how do you know which sedation option is best for you? Let’s get started by reviewing our Burke dentists three sedation options, their benefits, and how they can minimize your fears of pain.
Three sedation options to choose from
At Burke Centre Dental Arts in Burke, VA, we offer three levels of sedation that allow us to customize your sedation dentistry experience to your particular needs.
Inhalation sedation (AKA nitrous oxide) is a light level of sedation to take any edge off. Through a no-odor breathing mask, you will inhale nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and within two or three minutes you will experience a full-body euphoria - maybe even get the giggles. During your treatment, you are awake and cognizant of your surroundings but completely relaxed. Our dentists are able to control the amount of sedation you receive, ensuring you are comfortable throughout your appointment. After your treatment, you will be able to safely drive home. Inhalation sedation is a perfect option for you if you:
Experience some anxiety during a dental visit but need only a light level of sedation
Have trouble opening your mouth
Have a severe gag reflex
Have health conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s Disease
Oral sedation is an anti-anxiety medication offering different levels of relaxation – from minimal to moderate – depending on the dosage. A pill, typically Halcion, which is a part of the same prescription family as Valium, is taken prior to your appointment. You will feel calm and relaxed before you even sit in the dental chair. Now: Some people experience drowsiness, minor amnesia, and tingling sensations. Because of the effects of oral sedation, someone will need to drive you to and from your appointment. Oral sedation is a good option if you have:
Severe dental anxiety
Requested multiple treatments during a single visit and may need a deeper and longer level of sedation
Fear of needles
Sensitive gag reflex
Fear of the sounds and smells of a dental environment
IV sedation is general anesthesia administered through an IV to keep you comfortably asleep during your procedure. Good news: No anesthesiologist is needed at Burke Centre Dental Arts in Burke, VA. Our Burke dentists are certified to administer IV sedation, which saves you time waiting on an anesthesiologist and ensures you feel the effects of the sedation quickly. During your treatment, you are unconscious and unaware of the sights and sounds around you. With their certifications, our dentists are able to adjust the levels of sedation regularly. Afterward, you will have no memory of the treatment. IV sedation is a perfect option if you: