Do you experience anxiety about going to the dentist? If so, you're not alone. Millions of Americans share your fear, and this often causes many people to skip important dental treatments altogether. Unfortunately, failing visit the dentist for regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings can place you at risk of developing serious oral health issues that will require more costly and painful treatments down the road.
At Arlington Dental Aesthetics and South Riding Smiles, we understand the powerful impact this dental anxiety can have on our patients, and we offer a variety of sedation dentistry options to help alleviate your fears. Whether you've had a bad prior dental experience, suffer from an active gag reflex or simply need some help getting through a major dental procedure, we can ensure your visit is comfortable and pleasant with sedation dentistry.
Sedation Dentistry Options We Offer
Our dentists are committed to helping you maintain healthy teeth and gums for years to come. We accomplish this goal by providing a comprehensive range of dental treatments in a safe, comfortable environment. One of the ways we ensure your comfort is by offering a variety of sedation dentistry options.
Depending on your unique needs, our dentists may recommend one of the following options to help relieve your anxiety:
- Nitrous oxide
- Oral sedation
- IV sedation
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide can be used to help make your dental experience more comfortable. During your procedure, you'll receive a mixture of nitrous oxide gas and oxygen that is administered through a mask placed over your nose. The nitrous oxide gas takes effect almost immediately, providing a calming and soothing effect that allows you to relax during your treatment.
You'll remain conscious and aware while on nitrous oxide sedation, allowing you to understand what is happening and respond to our dentists' questions or instructions. In addition, the effects of nitrous oxide wear off almost instantly, making it possible for you to drive home immediately following your procedure.
In general, nitrous oxide is most effective when administered during relatively minor treatments. For more extensive dental procedures, we may recommend a different sedation option to ensure maximum levels of comfort.
Oral Conscious Sedation
If you choose oral conscious sedation, you'll take a pill prior to your procedure that will place you in a relaxed, semi-conscious state. During your procedure, you will be awake and able to respond to prompts from our dentists. However, you will most likely not remember the procedure afterwards. Instead, you'll return to full consciousness feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Oral conscious sedation is effective for both minor and major dental procedures.
Our dentists only recommend IV sedation for extensive dental procedures or in situations where you are undergoing several treatments at once. In IV carrying a powerful sedative is inserted into your arm, placing you into a state of relaxation. Your IV sedative will be monitored throughout your procedure to ensure your safety. After your procedure, you will have no recollection of the treatment, but you will feel relaxed and refreshed.
It's often a good idea to arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure if you undergo IV sedation.
Contact our Northern Virginia Dentists
Please call 703-527-1020 to contact Arlington Dental Aesthetics or 703-327-7705 to contact South Riding Smiles for an appointment. We serve patients in Arlington, South Riding, and throughout Northern Virginia.