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Sedation Dentistry – Baltimore, MD

Feel At-Ease in the Treatment Chair

Do you experience intense anxiety or nervousness at the thought of visiting the dentist for a checkup and cleaning or treatment? You’re not the only person who experiences this. In fact, it’s an issue that keeps many patients from receiving the care they need to optimize their oral health and prevent problems from getting worse. To make each of your visits more comfortable, we offer several different methods of sedation dentistry in Baltimore, MD.

Relaxed patient during sedation dentistry visit

Why Choose Baltimore Dental Arts for Sedation Dentistry?

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Relaxed woman with nitrous oxide dental sedation mask in place

If you suffer from mild anxiety or nervousness at the thought of visiting the dentist or simply have a difficult time sitting comfortably in the dental chair, then nitrous oxide sedation is a great option for you. Also known as laughing gas, this calming sedative can help you stay comfortable in the treatment chair and create a more positive association with the dentist’s office. Of course, you’re welcome to bring any questions you have to our team, but you can also read on to learn more about this service right here.

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Who Is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Smiling patient talking to dentist during dental checkup

The conversation of uses for nitrous oxide typically centers around dental anxiety. However, this is far from the only reason patients use this mild but effective sedative. Often, it’s recommended for those who struggle with dental sensitivity, have a fear of needles, have a sensitive gag reflex, or need a complex treatment that necessitates more time in the treatment chair. If any of these are the case for you, then don’t hesitate to talk to our team about adding nitrous oxide to your treatment plan. Before we do, we will confirm you’re a candidate by learning more about your dental history, allergies, medications, and other important information.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Nitrous oxide, oxygen, and air nozzles on machine

When you arrive, we’ll place a small mask over your nose that will allow you to breathe in the sedation. Within minutes, you’ll feel relaxed and at ease. We can adjust the nozzles throughout your visit to ensure you stay completely comfortable every step of the way. Plus, since you’ll be awake, you can easily communicate with our team as well as respond to the verbal commands we give you. At the end of your appointment, we will switch off the nitrous oxide so you just breathe in oxygen again.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Senior man smiling while relaxing in treatment chair

As soon as we remove the mask, the effects will begin to wear off. Before you leave our office, we will provide you with any aftercare instructions regarding the treatment you received. Other than that, however, you’ll be able to go on with your day as usual. In fact, you won’t even need a trusted adult to pick you up afterward – you can drive yourself!

Oral Conscious Sedation

Older man holding an oral conscious dental sedation pill

Perhaps you suffer from a moderate level of dental anxiety. If so, you’re not alone – many people worldwide get nervous about seeing dentists. Still, you shouldn’t let this fear deter you from essential care. Thankfully, though, you can always opt for our office’s oral conscious sedation. This option’s single pill would ease your dental woes and help you stay calm for treatment. To learn more about it, just keep reading or give us a call today!

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What is Oral Conscious Sedation?

A chalk drawing of a tooth with the words ‘conscious sedation’ printed inside

Oral conscious sedation is a method for calming patients during dental work. Dentists generally recommend it for adults with moderate nervousness, anxiety, or anything else that makes them uncomfortable during care.

In contrast to other sedation methods, the oral conscious approach doesn’t use masks or needles. Instead, it only requires that the patient ingest a small pill before the dental visit. This medicine then produces a deep calm within fifteen minutes of being taken.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

A dentist talking with her patient

Ultimately, oral conscious sedation works pretty simply. It doesn’t take much to devise or implement.

Really, it all boils down to the dentist prescribing medicine before treatment. This pill – usually Valium or Halcion – will quickly make you feel very calm and relaxed. From there, its effect will persist long enough for the dentist to work smoothly. The dentist’s team, meanwhile, will monitor your vitals all the while.

Of course, the sedation won’t put you to sleep. It’ll leave you conscious enough to respond to instructions. However, you’ll remain so deeply relaxed that you may not even remember the appointment afterward.

Following treatment, the sedation’s effects will persist for a few hours. Therefore, having a friend or family member drive you home is crucial once everything is finished.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

A dentist assessing her patient for oral conscious sedation

It doesn’t take much to qualify for oral conscious sedation. A good candidate, in fact, only needs to be decently healthy. That said, the dental option is ideal for patients who:

  • Suffer from dental fear, anxiety, or nervousness
  • Often cancel or reschedule visits out of nervousness of receiving bad news
  • Deal with a sensitive gag reflex
  • Need to undergo multiple procedures or one longer treatment in a single visit
  • Have difficulty keeping their mouth open or sitting in the treatment chair
  • Are resistant to the numbing effects of local anesthesia
  • Previously experienced poor dental care in the past 

IV Sedation

IV sedation in Baltimore

IV dental sedation is a great option for patients who have very severe dental anxiety or are undergoing long, invasive treatments, like wisdom teeth extractions. With this method, we’ll flow the sedation directly into your bloodstream so it’s fast-acting. Although you won’t remember your treatment, you’ll remain conscious the entire time and be able to respond to our requests or questions. One of our professionals will also monitor your vitals throughout the process.

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What is IV Sedation?

An IV bag in Baltimore

IV sedation is a form of treatment that is designed to alleviate dental anxiety. Commonly referred to as “sleep dentistry,” it doesn’t actually cause you to fall asleep. Instead, it helps you to enter into a more relaxed state. You will remain cognizant enough of your surroundings that you will be able to respond to cues from your dentist and dental team.

The medication used in conjunction with IV sedation is an anti-anxiety drug that flows through the bag and into the bloodstream. The IV is placed either in the back of the hand or the bend of the elbow. In a short amount of time, you will notice the effects of the medication causing you to become relaxed and at ease.

Following your procedure, the IV will be removed, and your sedation dentist will have your friend or family member escort you home. Because it does take time for the medication to wear off, you will need to have someone remain with you to ensure you experience no ill side effects.

Who is a Good Candidate for IV Sedation?

Patient experiencing dental anxiety Baltimore

Not everyone is considered a good candidate for IV sedation. Although known to be a safe form of treatment, it is necessary that your speak to your dentist about your oral and overall health as well as any medications you are currently taking. Certain health conditions and medicines can react poorly to sedation, making it ineffective.

However, should you experience any of the following issues, there is a good possibility that you will be recommended for IV sedation:

  • Sensitive or strong gag reflex
  • Severe dental anxiety that inhibits your ability to seek dental care
  • Serious dental problems that require multiple procedures
  • The inability to become numb with other sedation methods

The Benefits of IV Sedation

Woman before IV sedation in Baltimore

When discussing your options with your dentist, you will discover there are several unique benefits to IV sedation, some of which include:

  • Improved oral health because of your ability to undergo regular dental treatments without anxiety
  • A dental team will monitor your vitals throughout treatment to ensure you remain safe and comfortable
  • Fast-acting medication that allows you to become relaxed quickly
  • Minimal recollection, if any, of your procedure

The opportunity to embrace better oral health because of IV sedation is one of its greatest benefits. Forgoing regular dental care out of fear is no way to live your life. Instead, sedation dentistry can help you regain your confidence and minimize your anxiety in pursuit of better oral healthcare.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Man undergoing sedation dentistry in Baltimore

If you suffer from dental anxiety, sedation dentistry may be the answer you’re looking for! However, it pays to be well-informed. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we are asked about sedation dentistry in Baltimore. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t worry! Contact our team here at Baltimore Dental Arts and we will be happy to answer your questions and schedule you an appointment when you’re ready.

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Is sedation dentistry safe?

For most patients, sedation dentistry is a perfectly safe option. The majority of them handle nitrous oxide without an issue, making it the best choice for the highest amount of people. Before deciding whether to administer sedation, our dentist will go over your medical history and current medications to ensure there won’t be any negative interactions. While you’re sedated, our team will closely monitor your vitals at all times to make sure you are perfectly safe.

Will I remember the treatment after dental sedation?

Even though you are technically awake with most forms of sedation, chances are that you won’t remember much of your treatment. IV sedation is more likely to make you forget your procedure than oral conscious sedation or nitrous oxide. The memory loss effect that sedation has can make getting dental care much easier for patients with extreme dental anxiety and phobia.

Will I feel any pain with dental sedation?

While keeping you awake, sedation dentistry can actually suppress your body’s ability to register pain. Even if you do experience some discomfort, you are more likely to feel pressure than pain. Depending on your procedure, your dentist may also numb your mouth with a local anesthetic to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your procedure.

Can dental sedation make me sick?

It is quite rare to feel nauseous with nitrous oxide sedation. Because oral conscious sedation is stronger than nitrous oxide, there is a slightly higher risk of nausea. Just to be safe, your dentist will likely recommend that you don’t eat for a few hours before your procedure. If you have trouble skipping meals, you may want to schedule your appointment in the early morning. IV sedation has an elevated risk of nausea due to its stronger effects. If you are prone to feeling nauseous, simply let your dentist in Baltimore know and they can adjust accordingly.

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