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Girl smiling sitting at the dentist clinic

Let’s face it: Hardly anyone thrills to the idea of spending time at the dentist, and even if you don’t have an outright fear of dental procedures, it’s not uncommon to have a little bit of uneasiness when spending time in the dentist’s chair. For this reason, we offer a variety of safe and effective sedation dentistry options to help people achieve a greater sense of calm and relaxation during their procedure.

If you’re not quite sure what sedation dentistry is all about, below is an overview of the three primary types of sedation dentistry to help you decide which one will be the right choice for you.

1. Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Perhaps better known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is the most popular form of sedation for a wide range of dental procedures. It is a sweet-smelling gas that is administered by inhalation, and it can be easily breathed in without any irritation.

One of the main reasons why nitrous oxide is the most popular sedative choice is because it allows you to retain your alertness and responsiveness while also providing a feeling of calm and relaxation. This is definitely a plus for people who are self-professed “control freaks,” and are very uncomfortable with the thought of undergoing a procedure without maintaining some level of conscious awareness.

2. Oral Conscious Sedation

Known more simply as “conscious sedation,” this method of sedation dentistry is administered by way of taking a pill prior to treatment. The benefit of using oral conscious sedation is that you will still remain fully conscious, but you will feel very calm and fully relaxed throughout the procedure. It is a perfect choice for people who feel like they just need to take the “edge” off so that they won’t be a bundle of nerves during their appointment.

Since it takes quite a while for this sedative to wear off, it’s a good idea to arrange for someone to give you a ride home after your procedure. In some cases, it is possible to take the sedative pill as early as one day prior to the procedure in order to ensure adequate sedation when the appointment time comes.

3. IV Sedation

This form of sedation dentistry is most commonly used for procedures that take an extensive amount of time to complete. As the name implies, the sedative is administered intravenously, and it is known for providing the most thorough sense of relaxation and calm for various procedures. The medicines most popularly used in IV sedation (typically benzodiazepines) often produce mild amnesia as a side effect, which is actually helpful for patients who do not prefer to remember any details about their procedure.

In addition, IV sedation has been proven to be effective in suppressing the gag reflex, which is often more pronounced in uneasy or overly-sensitive patients. This form of sedation is often a top choice for patients who suffer from moderate to severe anxiety due to various dental phobias. In fact, IV sedation is often referred to as “sleep dentistry” because it is a fast-acting method that provides the maximum level of sedation for uneasy patients.

If you’re a little uneasy about paying a visit to the dentist, don’t worry – the professionals at West Chester Dental Group can help you decide on the best sedation dentistry option for you. Keep the above information in mind to help you make an informed decision so that your next trip to the dentist’s office will be a comfortable and stress-free experience.

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