Anesthesia or Sedation Dentistry?

Are you nervous about your upcoming dental procedure? Your dentist is trained to make you feel comfortable during dental work and they can discuss ways to help you relax in the dental chair.

One of these methods includes specialized calming medicine called sedation, but which treatment will suit your unique dental needs? Dr. Keith Boenning, a dentist in Towson, MD, describes the differences between anesthesia and sedation dentistry during your dental experience.

sedation dentistry options in Towson Maryland

Local Anesthetics

A local anesthetic is a numbing medication that a dentist will inject into a nerve in the area where an invasive dental procedure occurs. The medicine stops the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain so that you do not experience discomfort during the duration of your procedure.

The medication will wear off on its own after a few hours and does not affect your consciousness or awareness at all. Your dentist may also apply a topical anesthetic before the injection for additional comfort for the patient.

Sedation Dentistry Options

Sedation dentistry refers to a specialized medication that helps patients relax during a dental procedure. Depending on your unique dental needs, your dentist may recommend a variety of different treatment options, including:

  • Laughing gas: This sedation treatment is administered through a mask over the nose or mouth. The patient remains conscious but becomes relaxed as they breathe in the medication. The effects fade once the mask is removed.
  • Oral sedation: A patient can take an oral sedation tablet before arriving at the dentist’s office. However, they will need to arrange a lift to and from their appointment. The medication will calm a patient enough that they often fall asleep during their dental work. This sedation wears off gradually after a few hours.

Your dentist’s recommendation for sedation dental treatment can vary depending on the patient’s anxiety level, the invasiveness of the dental procedure, and the patient’s desired level of consciousness.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is usually administered intravenously and is reserved for highly invasive procedures, like oral surgery, or extremely nervous dental patients. The medication brings patients under deep sedation or puts them to sleep throughout the duration of their dental work. This treatment is performed in hospitals or surgical centers primarily.

Ask Your Towson, MD Dentist About Sedation Dentistry

Boenning and Dancykier Dental Implants and Cosmetic Dentistry offer sedation dental treatments and other general dental services to patients in Towson, MD. Dr. Boenning also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact us online or reach us by phone at 410.324.2294.