Going to the dentist can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. Luckily, many dentists offer sedation dentistry, which offers many benefits. If you would like to know more, check out these three commonly asked questions about sedation dentistry.

1. What Types of Sedation Dentistry Exist?

Most sedation dentistry is considered "awake sedation." This means it's not designed to put you to sleep like general anesthesia. However, all types of sedation relax your body and mind, which can make you become sleepy and groggy. Some patients may even fall asleep.

The most common form of sedation is inhalation or "laughing gas." Inhaling a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen creates a feeling of euphoria and relaxation.

Some dentists may prescribe an oral sedative instead of or in addition to inhalation sedation. IV sedation is the strongest form of awake sedation. As the name suggests, an IV administers sedatives to keep you calm and relaxed.

2. What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

The leading benefit of sedation dentistry is that it calms you, which can counteract anxiety and dental-related phobias. For some patients, severe anxiety may even cause them to let a tooth fully decay but knowing they can use sedation dentistry can help.

In addition, sedation dentistry affects your memory. As a result, the appointment may seem faster, and you have little to no memory of the treatment. This can help reduce future dental anxiety, but it also allows the dentist to perform long or invasive procedures without causing too much discomfort.

3. How Long Does the Sedation Last?

Inhalation sedation only lasts as long as you inhale the nitrous oxide. After treatment, the dentist removes the breathing nozzle from your nose, and your body quickly flushes the nitrous oxide. You may feel a little groggy or disoriented for a moment, but you can usually drive yourself home or to your next destination.

If you use oral or IV sedation, however, the effects wear off slowly. As a result, you may still be too cognitively impaired, disoriented, and dissociated to drive home. Depending on the amount of sedation and your body's metabolism, the effects can last much of the rest of the day.

Sedation dentistry is a great way to fight dental anxiety, especially if you need a long appointment or an invasive procedure. While some dentists may not provide all forms of sedation, many offer inhalation sedation. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area. For more information on sedation dentistry, contact a professional near you.