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Sedation Dentistry in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island

A young woman who's undergoing sedation for her dental treatment.

If you are uncomfortable going to the dentist, we provide numerous sedation dentistry options, to ensure that you are relaxed during your office visit. We understand that many patients can experience high levels of fear and anxiety when they think about going to the dentist, and that fear can keep them from seeing the dentist as regularly as they should. This can create the need for major dental work, which can be timely and costly. To learn more about our sedation dentistry options, contact one of our New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island office locations to schedule your appointment.

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What is sedation dentistry?

There are numerous sedation dentistry options that ensure your relaxation during your dental procedures. Some patients experience high levels of fear and anxiety when they think about going to the dentist. Sedatives reduce the brain’s recognition of pain and discomfort, while easing feelings of fear and stress. At Dental365, we offer sedatives to our patients with dental anxiety to help them relax during procedures.

Why is sedation dentistry used?

Patients who have a very low tolerance for pain or sensitive gag reflexes may be good candidates for oral sedation. Sedation dentistry is also a good option for patients who have difficultly controlling their movements, or cannot comfortably sit still for long periods of time.

What are the benefits of using sedation dentistry at Dental365?

Benefits of using sedation dentistry at one of our dental offices may include the following:

  • Allows a great deal of dental work can be completed while sedated
  • Provides comfort for patients for hours at a time
  • Reduces or eliminates pain and discomfort during the procedure
  • Reduces anxiety and fear associated with the dentist
  • Improves oral health for patients who are less hesitant to visit the dentist knowing sedation is available

How does dental sedation work?

Many forms of dental sedation affect the central nervous system. The medications that are classified as sedatives diminish the activity of the nervous system so, when external stimulation occurs, the response is much less intense than it would be otherwise. For dental sedation, medications are prescribed accurately so patients do not experience the sensations that are common with dental anxiety.

Can you be put to sleep for dental work?

Yes. Oral Surgery procedures are performed under IV anesthesia. This method of sedation is deeper than those that are commonly used (nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation). While necessary in select cases, deep sedation that achieves deep sleep is typically not administered for routine procedures like root canals or dental implants.

Types of dental sedation

An Asian woman that is asleep from dental sedation. During a consultation with your dentist, the various sedation methods will be explained to you and your dentist will help you decide the best sedation dentistry type for your needs. Depending on the type of sedation used, your experience will range from simply feeling more relaxed to experiencing a sleep-like state, during which little is felt or remembered. Below are the different types of sedation that can be used during dental procedures:

Nitrous Oxide

Often referred to as laughing gas because of the euphoric feelings it induces, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask, leaving you to feel calm and relaxed. The effects of the sedative diminish as soon as the mask is removed, and you will be free to resume normal activities right away, and will be able to drive yourself home.

Oral Sedatives

Oral sedatives come in pill form and are usually taken about one hour before dental treatment. They work fairly quickly and wear off gradually, so you will need a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment. Under dental sedatives, you will be in a state of relaxation, and will retain the ability to talk to the doctor, but will be unaware of many of the details of your procedure. Most patients can resume normal activities by that same evening, or the following morning.

Dental Anesthesia

A local anesthetic may also be administered during your procedure, depending on your procedure type, since oral sedatives and nitrous oxide do not provide pain relief.

How long does dental anesthesia last?

Dental anesthesia is the term we use to describe the local anesthetic that is administered into the gums. This anesthetic eliminates pain sensations so patients can receive care in the most comfortable manner. The numbing sensation wears off over 2 to 4 hours.

What to expect during sedation

Sedation dentistry allows patients to experience a more comfortable experience at the dentist’s office, especially if they suffer from dental anxiety, by using medication. The forms of dental sedation that we use are mild. Patients can breathe and swallow on their own. They can communicate with us during their treatment if needed. Depending on the type of sedation chosen, a patient may feel deeply relaxed. Their body may feel heavy or very light, almost like floating. Some people experience a warming sensation in their body under sedation. Some doze off. Across the board, though, most feel no sense of the anxiety that had previously kept them from seeing the dentist.

How long does it take for conscious sedation to wear off?

Dental sedation can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to wear off. Nitrous oxide is nearly immediately effective after the gas is inhaled. Once administration stops, the effects of this sedative begin to lift. Patients feel alert within a few minutes and can safely drive themselves home to resume normal activities. Oral conscious sedation tends to last several hours. Patients may feel somewhat groggy for the remainder of the day. A friend or loved one must drive the patient home after their appointment.

Is dental sedation needed for tooth extraction?

There are few instances in which patients need to be “put to sleep” for tooth extraction. While this is possible, most patients can undergo this procedure very comfortably with conscious sedation techniques like nitrous oxide or an oral sedative.

Will I feel any pain with dental sedation?

Dental sedation is used alongside dental anesthesia that numbs the nerves in the mouth. The local anesthetic desensitizes the nerves themselves. Sedation compounds the pain-relieving effects by depressing the reactivity of the central nervous system. Therefore, dental sedation works to enhance the effects of local numbing medication.

How else can I manage dental anxiety?

Several strategies can be used to help reduce dental anxiety. These include:

  • Choose a dentist that creates a sense of trust and comfort.
  • Choose a dentist that offers sedation services.
  • Bring earphones to dental appointments to listen to calming music or music that uplifts the mood.
  • Talk to the dentist about feelings of anxiety. They can assist with comfort-improving techniques.
  • Don’t wait until a toothache has developed to see the dentist. Routine exams and cleanings are much less stressful than appointments to address pain.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have avoided dental work due to dental anxiety, fear, or phobia, we can help. Contact one of our Dental365 offices today and schedule a consultation with one of our sedation dentists in NY, NJ, CT, MA & RI. Call us today at 844.365.DENTAL or request an appointment through our contact us form at any time.


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