We all understand dental anxiety (even your dentist herself!) – it’s difficult for anyone to face dental treatment without a little bit of trepidation. Placing your mouth in someone else’s hands makes you feel vulnerable. For some patients, this anxiety manifests as simple nerves on the drive over to an appointment; for others, it is entirely debilitating. Some even find themselves unable to bring themselves to schedule appointments, even if they’re feeling severe tooth pain. We work to ease that fear, no matter the patient’s level of dental anxiety. Read on to learn more about common forms of dental sedation and the philosophy of sedation dentistry itself.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry makes the patient’s comfort the top priority. At the same time, it doesn’t compromise the quality of treatment. After undergoing an appointment with our sedation dentist, your teeth will be restored, your smile beautiful, and your mental state completely relaxed.

Types of Dental Sedation and Dental Anesthesia

Sedation relieves anxiety, while anesthesia relieves pain. While all our patients receive anesthesia to make their appointments comfortable, those feeling fearful may also be interested in a form of sedation. A few of the most common forms of sedation and anesthesia are listed below:

  • Nitrous oxide – Nitrous (commonly known as “laughing gas”) induces a euphoric state for the duration of treatment. It is inhaled throughout the course of the procedure, and its effects wear off soon afterward.
  • Topical anesthesia – Topical anesthesia is a mild pain reliever than prevents the outer layers of your skin from feeling pain. This is used prior to administering an injection so that you feel nothing.
  • Local anesthesia – Local anesthesia is injected at the site of treatment to block nerves from signifying pain. Your brain will not receive the signals, and you will not feel discomfort. Be vocal with your dentist during your appointment if you feel you need more anesthesia to block the pain.
  • Oral conscious sedation – Oral conscious sedation is used to fully relax patients during treatment. It is taken as a pill and it lasts a predetermined amount of time. With oral conscious sedation, you are aware and able to respond during treatment, but you may not remember the treatment after completion. It’s truly dental care without consequences.

If you find yourself dreading your next dental appointment, talk to your Seattle dentist about the sedation options listed above.

Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.