Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry services offered in Woodbridge, VA

Dental anxiety affects 36% of the population, often causing such extreme fear that people don't seek the dental treatment they need. The dentists at Lifetime Dental Care, PLLC, specialize in sedation dentistry so they can provide care while eliminating pain and relieving anxiety. Sedation is safe for children and adults, allowing everyone to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Woodbridge, Virginia, or book online today.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry focuses on easing your anxiety and keeping you pain-free, whether you need routine dental work or a complex procedure. Your provider at Lifetime Dental Care, PLLC, recommends one of several medications that achieve different degrees of sedation.

Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?

You may want to consider sedation dentistry if you or your child:

  • Fear pain during dental procedures
  • Fear needles, drills, and other dental instruments
  • Are hypersensitive to noises and smells
  • Can't tolerate touch or pressure
  • Have a hyperactive gag reflex
  • Need a long or complex procedure
  • Can't sit still in the dental chair

Children and adults can overcome these challenges with sedation dentistry.

What options does sedation dentistry offer?

The sedation option that's best for you depends on the dental procedure and your level of anxiety.

There are three basic types of sedation:

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

After you inhale nitrous oxide through a mask, it quickly takes effect, relaxing you without putting you to sleep. This type of sedation eases anxiety, as you feel detached from the dental activity in your mouth.

Nitrous oxide is very safe for children and adults. After finishing your dental work, your provider changes the gas to pure oxygen. The effect wears off in minutes, and you don't have side effects.

Combining nitrous oxide with a local anesthetic provides exceptional pain relief for most dental procedures. However, complex procedures and people with severe anxiety may need another level of sedation.

Oral sedation

Oral sedation involves one of several types of fast-acting drugs that alleviate pain and anxiety and minimize your memory of the event. Adults who choose oral sedation take one pill the night before their procedure and another one an hour before their scheduled procedure.

Children receive a fluid administered in the office before their dental work. They may not remember much about the dental work performed while sedated.

Oral sedation does not cause unconsciousness like general anesthesia. However, the medication can make you feel so relaxed and drowsy that you fall asleep. 

General anesthesia

The team at Lifetime Dental Care, PLLC, may recommend general anesthesia for children who can’t tolerate sitting in the dental chair, children and adults with extreme anxiety, or anyone who needs a lengthy, complex procedure.

Since you're unconscious, you aren't aware of the dental work and won’t remember anything about the procedure.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, call Lifetime Dental Care, PLLC, or book an appointment online today.