Even worse, you may be postponing the treatment you urgently need. Avoiding necessary dental procedures can lead to serious oral health issues and more extensive, expensive and possibly more painful treatments in the future. Sedation dentistry is a safe and easy way to help you relax during your dental treatment and get the help you need.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry simply allows patients to relax while undergoing dental procedures with our team at South Riding Smiles. Sedation enables patients to overcome various levels of anxiety, all the way up to phobia about even visiting the dentist. Plus, sedation allows you to group various procedures into a single office visit, making it a better use of your time. And in the end, you have little or no recollection about your visit.
Types Of Sedation Dentistry We Offer
At South Riding Smiles, we want to help you get the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve in a safe and comfortable environment. If you suffer from a fear of the dentist, we offer a variety of sedation options to help calm your nerves and ease your anxiety:
- Nitrous oxide: Commonly known as laughing gas, the nitrous oxide used to make your dental visit more comfortable is actually a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. During this process, you breath the gas through a mask placed over your nose and feel the soothing effect very quickly. Nitrous oxide allows you to remain calm and relaxed during your treatment while still being able to remain conscious and aware. Once the mask is removed and you are no longer inhaling the gas, the effects of nitrous oxide will wear off quickly.
Who is a good candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation and pain relief are not the same things. At South Riding Smiles, we offer sedation to help patients deal with strong feelings of fear and anxiety that arise when they visit the dentist. After receiving sedation and successfully completing their appointment, patients often change the entire way they view dental appointments going forward. Sedation could be a great option if you:
- Have difficulty overcoming anxiety about the dentist
- Have a low pain threshold
- Have very sensitive teeth
- Have a very strong gag reflex
- Need a large amount of work done
Once you are sedated and comfortable, we then properly numb, or anesthetize, the area we are working on, ensuring that your procedure is pain free.
Can you feel any pain during Sedation Dentistry?
There is a little misconception here. Sedation is not anesthesia. Sedation has the goal of helping the patient overcome his or her anxiety or fear that they associate with the dentist. Sedation has the pleasant side benefit of usually also creating an amnesia-like effect, so the patient has little or no memory of their appointment.
Anesthesia is what keeps you comfortable and pain-free. Modern dental anesthesia ensures our patients at South Riding Smiles don’t feel anything during any of our treatments.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe? Are there side effects?
Nitrous oxide can create pressure changes in the middle ear and in the intestines. This can lead to short-term pain, but this is a very rare reaction. In the vast majority of cases, nitrous oxide is very safe and very effective for alleviating your anxiety.
"Everyone is friendly, courteous and professional. They make you feel at ease and answer all of your questions. I would highly recommend this office to my friends and family." - Kenrick
Is there recovery after Dental Sedation?
There isn’t any “recovery” from any of our three sedation options at South Riding Smiles. But you will need some planning, depending upon the type of sedation you choose.
If you have nitrous oxide to take the edge off, as soon as the mask is removed the effects wear off almost instantly. That means you’re fully capable of safely driving yourself home after your appointment.
How long before I can drive if I have dental sedation?
As mentioned above, the answer depends upon which type of sedation you opted for at South Riding Smiles. If you had nitrous oxide, its effects wear off almost as soon as we remove the mask. In just five or 10 minutes, you have no after-effect, and you can drive without risk.
Is There A Sedation Dentist Near Me?
If you live in the Arlington or South Riding areas of Virginia, our sedation dentists can help calm your nerves and provide you with the safe, comfortable and exceptional quality of dental care you deserve. To book an appointment at South Riding Smiles, call 703-327-7705.