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Understanding the 4 Types of Sedation

Understanding the 4 Types of Sedation

Dreading a trip to the dentist isn’t uncommon. In fact, almost 40% of Americans have some level of dental anxiety. One-third of that group experiences outright phobia, and as many as 3% may avoid dentist visits entirely due to their fears. 

Dental anxiety is a real problem, and at Metairie Village Dentistry, located in Metairie, Louisiana, we understand. One of our specialties is sedation dentistry, which helps you relax when you’re in our care. Depending on the type and level of sedation you choose, you may have little to no recollection of your procedure. You’ll feel relaxed and unworried. You might even fall asleep! 

Sedation vs. anesthesia

While one of the biggest concerns for patients is the anticipation of pain, modern anesthetics ensure you won’t feel pain during your dental procedures. 

Sedation isn’t about pain; it’s about relaxing — something that’s difficult when you have dental anxiety. Sedation techniques calm your worries, whether it’s needles, noises, or simply being in a dental office. You’ll have a mental buffer between your perceptions and reality when you’re sedated.

While you may share the condition with many others, your anxiety or phobia has elements that are unique to you. That’s why we offer four types of sedation. You can choose the type that’s best suited for you. 

The 4 types of dental sedation

With over 30 years of experience, our dentist Dr. Lisa Wyatt has plenty of experience with sedation dentistry. If you’re new to the idea, Dr. Wyatt and her team will suggest the sedation technique that is right for you. 

1. Nitrous oxide

This is an inhaled form of sedation, commonly known as laughing gas. It offers a euphoric sensation and disassociates you from the elements of treatment that cause anxiety. It’s fast-acting and wears off quickly. It’s the choice when you have to get yourself to and from our office. No other sedation method allows you to drive after your appointment. 

2. Oral sedation

Taken about an hour before your treatment, oral sedatives keep you conscious but unworried about the procedure. You’ll feel sleepy, and it’s possible you’ll nod off from time to time, but you remain easy to wake up. Your memory and motor skills will be compromised until the medication wears off, but you’ll sidestep your anxiety while under the effects of your sedation. 

3. Intravenous (IV) sedation

Medications delivered with an IV are typically the deepest sedation used in a dental office setting. It’s the best option for people with severe anxiety or phobia about dental procedures since IV sedation means you’ll likely sleep throughout treatment and have little to no memory of the process.

4. General anesthesia

Usually reserved for complex procedures in hospital settings, such as surgery for impacted wisdom teeth, general anesthesia requires a specialist who closely monitors you throughout treatment. 

Your oral care is too essential to your overall health to be sidetracked by anxiety. Consult with us at Metairie Village Dentistry to discover the best sedation type for you. You can request an appointment online or by phone at your convenience. Book with us today.

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