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Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry services offered in San Antonio, Helotes and Shavano Park, TX

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry services offered in San Antonio, Helotes and Shavano Park, TX

Anxiety can feel all-consuming when you have an upcoming dental procedure and have dental phobias, a sensitive gag reflex, or difficulty sitting still. At Smile Structure Dentistry and Braces, with five offices in San Antonio and Helotes, Texas, the team of general and family dentists offer many sedation dentistry options to help you relax during your visit. Call the nearest office or request an appointment online today to learn more.

Sedation Dentistry Q&A

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves administering medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It helps keep you comfortable enough to undergo treatments that may otherwise cause anxiety or discomfort. At Smile Structure Dentistry and Braces, the team offers many types of sedation for children and adults to suit their unique needs and preferences.

Are there different types of sedation dentistry?

The three most common types of sedation dentistry are:

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a mild sedative administered through a mask placed over the nose. It encourages a relaxed and euphoric state, allowing you to remain conscious during the procedure. 

Its benefits include a rapid onset and quick recovery — typically wearing off within minutes — making it suitable for minor dental procedures. However, it may not provide sufficient sedation for more complex or anxiety-inducing treatments.

Oral conscious sedation

This sedation involves taking a sedative before the procedure. It induces a deeper state of relaxation while still allowing you to remain conscious. Oral conscious sedation takes more time than nitrous oxide to wear off and can cause more lasting side effects, such as drowsiness.

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is the deepest form of sedation, rendering you unconscious and unaware during the dental procedure. It is often used for extensive surgeries or for patients with severe dental anxiety. 

Who should consider sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is ideal for patients who may struggle to undergo dental procedures without assistance. The Smile Structure Dentistry and Braces team may recommend sedation for patients who have:

  • Dental phobias or anxieties
  • Mental, cognitive, or physical disabilities
  • Extensive or complex dental procedures
  • Low pain threshold or heightened sensitivity
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Need for multiple dental treatments in a single visit
  • Medical conditions complicating dental procedures
  • Difficulty sitting still for extended periods
  • History of traumatic dental experiences
  • Desire for a more comfortable and relaxed dental experience

After an initial dental exam, your dentist can determine the appropriate type of sedation for your needs.

Can I drive myself home after sedation dentistry?

Nitrous oxide is the only type of sedation dentistry you can take and drive yourself home after. Oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia require careful monitoring. You must have a friend or relative drive you home and monitor you after the procedure.

Call Smile Structure Dentistry and Braces or request an appointment online today to learn more about sedation dentistry.