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Relax with Vienna, VA's Sedation Dentist

Do you feel frightened when you go to the dentist’s office? Would you prefer the agony of a toothache over a visit with the dentist for root canal therapy? If the answer is yes, then you need to take a closer look at sedation dentistry. With these modern calming aids, the dentist helps control your anxiety so you can get the proper treatments and dental care. There are a number of different techniques including nitrous gas, oral sedation, or IV conscious sedation. Dr. Ellenbogen will work with each patient on a case by case basis to determine the methods will be the most effective. Please, visit the dentist right away. You have nothing to fear!

Getting to Know More about Sedation Dentistry

You might have heard sedation dentistry called “sleep dentistry,” or “twilight sedation.” Though in most cases you are not actually knocked out, these types of sedation put you in a sleep like state. You feel relaxed and maybe a little groggy but can still respond to the dentist if necessary. Most sedation methods do not do anything for pain, which is why these tactics are partnered with some form of anesthesia, so you can stay calm and comfortable during all of your procedures.  Some of the different levels of sedation include:

General Anesthesia or IV Sedation

With general anesthesia, the patient is fully unconscious of what is happening during the entire dental procedure. Usually, this method of sedation is reserved for complex oral surgeries that must be carried out in a hospital. With regard to the general anesthesia, the medication will lull you to an almost unconscious or even totally unconscious state. During the whole dental procedure, you will sleep deeply and can’t be easily awakened unless the anesthesia is allowed to wear off or the surgeon reverses the effects of the medication. Though, there are cases when  general anesthesia is necessary, Dr. Ellenbogen will have a board certified anesthesiologist perform the procedure. Another form of deep sedation that can be performed in our office is IV conscious sedation. This procedure does not make patients completely lose consciousness, but it does cause them to be fully relaxed throughout treatment.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation (anti-anxiety pills) can range from mild to moderate depending on the dosage prescribed by the dentist. With the mild oral sedation, the dentist uses drugs, such as Halcion, Xanax, and Ativan, which all belong in the Valium family. They reduce your anxiety by dulling the fear receptors in the brain. Generally, you should take the pill as prescribed up to one hour before your appointment. These forms of moderate sedation allow the patient to be fully conscious during treatment, but they often do not remember much about the procedure once it is over. With deeper sedation and higher doses, the patient is on the border of consciousness. Though you may fall asleep during treatment, you can be awakened by a pat or a gentle shake. The dentist often uses deeper sedation for surgical procedures, extractions or the placement of dental implants.

Minimal or Inhaled Sedation

Lastly, minimal sedation keeps the patient fully conscious but helps them feel at ease during the entire treatment. For this, the patient breaths in laughing gas, a mixture of nitrous and oxygen, through a mask placed on the nose. With this type of sedation, Dr. Ellenbogen can immediately control the amount of sedation the patient receives. As soon as you start to breathe oxygen again, the effects of the gas start to wear off. This is why nitrous oxide is the only type of sedation where you can drive yourself home after the procedure. Generally, this type of sedation is sufficient for most procedures including fillings, crowns, and deep cleanings.

Choosing Dr. Ellenbogen for Sedation Dentistry

Almost all dentists are allowed to employ minimal sedation through nitrous oxide and mild to moderate sedation with oral medications. A growing number of dentists are able to provide moderate IV sedation, but only a small number of dentists have the training and expertise to employ the use of general anesthesia and deep sedation. This is why the deeper sedation must be performed in a hospital or administered and supervised by a dental anesthesiologists.

Here at the Dr. Ellenbogen’s office we work with all of our patients on an individual basis to determine the right levels of sedation. Do not let anxiety keep you from the procedures you need and deserve. If you suffer from dental anxiety, or fear the pain of treatments, we guarantee the safest sedation dentistry.

You do not need to put off your appointments with Dr. Ellenbogen any longer. Give our office a call today at (703) 734-1095 to schedule your next exam.