Manage Your Dental Anxiety With Sedation Dentistry

Manage Your Dental Anxiety With Sedation Dentistry

First, it’s important to understand what’s involved in any dental treatments and whether sedation is an option for you. Depending on your present state of oral health and needs, the type of sedation used may be minimal or moderate. 

Minimal means only using a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, so you don’t feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. Moderate sedation involves the use of oral medication to help you relax before treatment begins. A dentist may also use nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, to help calm your nerves during treatment as well. Nitrous oxide is a sedative agent that is delivered through a nasal breathing apparatus. It quickly relieves feelings of anxiety and nervousness. Often, it will allow you to stay awake and remain conscious while undergoing treatment, but you should still have the ability to communicate with the dentist or hygienist during your procedure.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

There are many benefits to getting in-office sedation, and virtually all patients experience at least one of them! Here are some of the more common benefits:

  • You’ll feel completely relaxed when undergoing dental procedures that would normally stress you out. This can be particularly helpful if you have a strong gag reflex or issues with anxiety.
  • You can finally get the treatment you’ve been putting off due to fear. For example, many patients avoid visiting the dentist for years or even decades because they suffer from dental anxiety. When you opt for oral conscious sedation, you won’t have to worry about that anymore!
  • You won’t need to manage pain with prescription painkillers after your appointment. Instead, you’ll simply leave the office feeling calm and pain-free.
  • Oral conscious sedation can leave you feeling groggy for a few days after your procedure. However, it’s temporary and won’t impact your everyday life the way that many other forms of pain relief would.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are different types of sedation dentistry that a dentist may recommend, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences. Here are some of the most common types of sedation used for dental treatments.

Oral conscious sedation: Usually taken in the form of a pill, oral conscious sedation can help patients feel more relaxed throughout their treatment. Though this type of sedation doesn’t put the patient completely to sleep, it can help them feel more comfortable and relaxed during their procedure. With this level of sedation, patients are still awake but may not have any recollection of the treatment afterward. This is a great option for those who are afraid of the dentist or who have very sensitive teeth that need work.

IV sedation: This type of sedation is given through an intravenous needle and is administered to patients who are terrified of the dentist. The patient will still be awake after receiving this sedative, but they are unlikely to remember much of the treatment. This is a great option for patients who have had traumatic experiences with the dentist in the past. Patients with dental anxiety often respond well to IV sedation because of the amnesiac effects.

Nitrous oxide: Also referred to as laughing gas, a nitrous oxide is a form of minimal sedation. Although not quite as potent as other types of sedation, it still helps patients relax and remain calm throughout their treatment. Patients will still breathe on their own without assistance while under the effects of nitrous oxide, but the sedative will help them stay calmer throughout the appointment. Dentists who use nitrous oxide most commonly use it for fillings and other restorative procedures.

For the dental treatment option, visit Denali Dental Care at 625 E. 34th Ave. #200, Anchorage, AK 99503, or call (907) 274-7691 to book an appointment.


625 E. 34th Ave. #200, Anchorage, AK 99503

Phone: (907) 274-7691


  • MON - FRI: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • SAT - SUN: Closed
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