Sedation Dentistry

What is sedation dentistry?

Our team will do all we can to make your visit to our office as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible, including offering sedation dentistry to our patients. 

Sedation can be used for any procedure - from basic teeth cleaning to fillings to more complex procedures. No one should ever skip needed dental services because of fear or anxiety!

Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. 

There are various levels of sedation:

  • Minimal sedation -- awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation (also called "conscious sedation") -- awake, very relaxed and may not remember the procedure.
  • Deep sedation -- on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia -- completely unconscious.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you'll typically also get a local anesthetic to relieve pain right where the dentist is working in the mouth. We generally use novocaine or lidocaine for local numbing. 

What types of sedation are used at Westerville Dental Associates?

We will recommend the best method for you depending on the procedure and your anxiety level:

  • Inhaled sedation. This minimal sedation technique uses nitrous oxide -- known as "laughing gas" -- combined with oxygen. You breathe it through a mask placed over your nose. The gas will help you relax, but it probably won’t make you laugh (or cry)! 
  • Oral sedation. Taken in pill form, this sedation can range from minimal to moderate depending on the dosage given. Halcion is the most common drug for minimal sedation. We’ll have you take it an hour before the procedure. You will still be awake, but relaxed and drowsy. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. 
  • IV sedation. With this technique, you receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it works more quickly. The amount of sedation can be adjusted throughout the procedure. 
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia. These medications must be given by a licensed dental anesthesiologist. They’ll make you nearly or totally unconscious. They are generally used for very complex procedures that last a fair amount of time. 
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