Ease Your Dental Anxiety
Visiting the dentist twice a year is extremely important, both for your oral health and overall wellness. But according to recent research, over half of American adults have some level of dental anxiety. It’s human nature to avoid things that make us anxious, so many people aren’t getting the dental care they need.
Here at Aesthetic Dental Associates, we offer sedation dentistry in Seattle and serve patients from Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, and Shoreline, WA. If you have a fear of the dentist’s chair and you’re looking for sedation dentistry options in the Seattle area, Dr. Robert Johnson and the rest of our trusted team can help.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to a procedure involving the administration of sedative drugs. This allows our dentists to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients with dental anxiety. Types of sedation dentistry typically include:
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which is safe for patients of all ages and quick to wear off.
- Oral sedation, which may make you drowsy enough to fall asleep and will require a prescription.
- IV sedation, which inserts the medication into your veins and causes you to lose consciousness.
The type of sedation you receive will depend on your level of anxiety, the procedure being performed, and how sedated you need to be.
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are three sedative states in which Dr. Johnson can administer your treatment:
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered orally. You’ll remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure, but you will be able to breathe naturally and experience a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild to moderate sedation that results in complete relaxation during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, you’ll remain awake throughout your procedure but will be in a deep state of relaxation. It’s recommended that patients who receive conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments and provide a ride home. It can take several hours for the sedative to wear off, so driving yourself home after your procedure may be unsafe.
- Deep Sedation — Patients receiving deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their dental procedure. Patients often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands during the procedure. We always recommend having someone else drive you home after deep sedation as you may experience grogginess for several hours.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry helps ensure you get the dental care you need without experiencing the fear, stress, and anxiety you may feel at dental appointments. Other sedation dentistry benefits include:
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
.Our patients who opt for sedation dentistry report a great deal of personal satisfaction when their visits are over.
Sedation Dentistry FAQ
Is sedation dentistry safe?
Yes, sedation dentistry is completely safe as long as it is performed by a trained medical professional. Our Seattle dentists are very knowledgeable when it comes to sedatives, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands. A member of our team will monitor you throughout your procedure to ensure you’re at ease.
How long will I feel the effects of sedation dentistry?
While you should be feeling well by the time you leave our office, you may feel some lingering drowsiness for a few hours. We always ask that you have someone drive you home from your appointment and that you do not operate a vehicle for 24 hours. Take it easy at home after your dental visit and allow the sedation to wear off completely.
Does sedation dentistry also relieve pain?
Sedation is only used to relieve your anxiety and help you relax. Anesthesia will be used for pain relief. The combination will ensure your appointment is both stress- and pain-free.
What are the side effects of sedation dentistry?
The most common side effect of sedation dentistry is some lingering grogginess after the procedure that typically clears up on its own after a few hours. You may also experience a few other side effects, including:
- A dry mouth during or after your dental visit
- A very brief period of amnesia or forgetfulness after your procedure
Side effects are usually very mild and temporary.
Enjoy Anxiety-Free Dental Care at Aesthetic Dental Associates
Our goal is to make you feel at ease when you visit our Seattle office. If you think sedation dentistry might be right for you, call us today at (206) 682-3888 or contact us here so we can go over your options with you. We look forward to helping you enjoy a relaxing, anxiety-free visit!