Anesthesia or Sedation Dentistry?

Many patients, both children and adults, feel anxious when it comes to dental work. Modern dentists have made patient comfort a priority and developed treatments to encourage nervous patients of all ages to relax during dental procedures.

Dentists use several different tools to make patients comfortable in the dentist’s chair, and each has unique benefits. Our dentist in Laurel, MD, describes the differences between anesthesia and sedation dentistry treatment options available to you.

dental sedation treatment options in Laurel Maryland

Local Anesthetic

A local anesthetic contains medication delivered directly to the nerve of an affected tooth with a needle. The anesthetic numbs the area and stops the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain while a dentist works on a tooth.

A patient remains fully conscious after the use of an anesthetic, which means that at the end of the procedure, the patient will be able to drive themselves home safely. They will not feel groggy, and the effects of the medication wear off after a few hours.

Sedation Treatment Options

Sedation dentistry is a dental service that helps a patient relax and ensures a smooth procedure for both the patient and the dentist. This medication can be administered through an oral tablet taken before the procedure or through a nasal mask that a patient breathes throughout their time in the dentist’s chair.

Sedation can provide differing levels of consciousness for a patient, depending on the amount of medication provided:

  • Minimal sedation: a patient relaxes while remaining fully aware of their surroundings.
  • Moderate sedation: a patient is sleepy but conscious.
  • Deep sedation: a patient is barely awake throughout the procedure.

You can discuss which sedation treatment best suits your unique dental needs. Depending on which treatment you choose, you may require assistance to drive home.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a treatment that is reserved for patients with severe dental fear or invasive, extensive dental procedures. This medication is usually administered intravenously and renders the patient unconscious for the duration of the dental work.

Patients will likely feel disoriented when they awake from anesthesia, once the dental professional stops the IV medication. They may notice these side effects for the rest of the day and might need assistance to leave the dentist’s office.

Expert Sedation Dentistry in Laurel, MD

Laurel Smiles Dental Care offers sedation dentistry treatment options for patients in Laurel, MD. Dr. Cooper also specializes in restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 301.200.1315.