Sedation Dentistry in Alexandria, VA
We understand that many people experience anxiety or unease when visiting the dentist. These feelings can prevent patients from getting the dental care they need, whether because of past trauma or fear of the unknown. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry as a solution for our patients.
Find out how sedation dentistry works and whether you’re a candidate here.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation or sleep dentistry involves medication to help patients relax and feel more comfortable during dental procedures.
During sedation dentistry, patients remain conscious and can respond to instructions. However, you might feel drowsy and have little or no memory of the procedure. Patients also typically need someone to drive them home and should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for several hours afterward.
Who Is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
At Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS, we recommend sleep dentistry for those with dental anxiety or phobia, a sensitive gag reflex, or who need extensive dental work that might be uncomfortable or time-consuming. The level of sedation depends on the patient’s individual needs and the complexity of the procedure.
Sedation dentistry can benefit a wide range of patients, including those who:
- Experience fear or anxiety about dental procedures
- Have a fear of needles or dental instruments
- Have had traumatic dental experiences in the past
- Have a low pain threshold or difficulty getting numb
- Need extensive or complex dental treatment
- Have trouble sitting still for long periods
- Have special needs or disabilities
Not everyone is a candidate for sedation dentistry. For instance, patients with severe respiratory or cardiovascular problems might be ineligible. Pregnant women and those with allergies to certain medications should also forego this treatment.
Ultimately, you’ll decide whether to undergo sedation dentistry during your consultation with our dentist, Dr. Mullaney. She will work with you to determine the best sedation option for your needs and create a personalized plan to help you achieve optimal dental health.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients feel more at ease during dental procedures. For most patients, this comes in addition to the usual pain relief or an anesthetic, which we typically administer through an injection to the affected area.
Our Alexandria dental office offers oral sedation. Patients are closely monitored throughout the procedure to ensure their safety and comfort.
Oral sedation involves taking a pill or liquid medication, typically 30 to 60 minutes before a procedure; this produces a deeper state of relaxation, making it easier for patients to undergo longer and more complex procedures.
The effects of the medication can last for several hours after your appointment, so plan for a restful day after your visit.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
According to a 2017 study, 18% of the 309 participants suffered from moderate to high dental anxiety. Most of this group reported missing appointments because of dental fear.
Sedation is one of the most effective ways Dr. Mullaney has found to help give patients the care they need. Other benefits of sedation dentistry include:
- Increased comfort during procedures
- Better pain management
- More efficient dental work, as patients, are more relaxed and cooperative
- An easier time completing multiple procedures in one visit, if needed
Sedation Dentistry Services in Alexandria, VA
Are you ready to experience a more comfortable, stress-free dental appointment? Call 240-532-3335 or contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our sedation dentistry services. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, happy smile.