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 four 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 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.
The three most common types of sedation dentistry are:
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.
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 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.
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:
After an initial dental exam, your dentist can determine the appropriate type of sedation for your needs.
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.