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What Is the Difference Between Sedation & Sleep Dentistry?

young woman in the dental chair under dental sedation

Sedatives can make dental visits much more comfortable and relaxed. In some cases, you may only remember walking in and out of the office, and have no memory of the actual visit at all. Dental sedation and sleep dentistry are both used to help make your experience at the dentist as positive and painless as possible.

Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is an umbrella term that can include any kind of sedative used for a dental procedure. Services like nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, work well for more minor dental services. When laughing gas is used, the patient is aware of their surroundings but relaxed, and the effects of laughing gas wear off within a few minutes of the mask being removed.

Oral conscious sedation involves taking a pill to feel calm and pain-free during the procedure. Patients sometimes say that this sedative puts them in a dream-like state, but they are still able to respond to questions. IV sedation can also be used for minor procedures, as the dentist can control the level of sedation the patient receives.

Sleep Dentistry

Sleep dentistry is another term for general anesthesia, which is when the patient is unconscious and unresponsive during the treatment. Patients also have no memory of the procedure and feel no pain while it’s happening. Afterward, you may feel tired or groggy and want to sleep for a few hours. Patients cannot drive themselves home after being under general anesthesia.

Safety is sometimes a concern that patients have regarding sleep dentistry. While there is always a slight risk involved with general anesthesia, sleep dentistry is considered a safe sedation option, even for children. When you’re in our office, your safety is always our number one priority.

Sedation for Dental Anxiety

Dental sedation is not just for surgery or major dental procedures. One way to combat dental anxiety is to use a mild sedative to put your mind at-ease. If you find yourself frequently cancelling dentist appointments or putting off dental work, you may want to ask your dentist about sedation. Dental anxiety is very common, and our judgment-free team would be happy to help you find a way to feel comfortable in the dental chair.

Questions? We Have Answers

If you have any questions concerning dental sedation, or any other oral health issue, please contact our office today! We will answer your questions and schedule a consultation or appointment for you.

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Dental Solutions of Columbus

Dental Solutions of Columbus