Sedation Dentistry

Berkshire’s Washington DC sedation dentists specialize in helping patients with dental anxiety or dental fear

If you are afraid of going to the dentist, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 25 million Americans suffer from dental anxiety. It can be anything from the fear of dental instruments to fear of being criticized by the dentist. We understand that many people have dental anxiety, and we want to ease your anxiety and make your visits to our office a positive experience. If your dental fear is something you feel you can’t control yourself with sheer will power, you may want to consider sedation dentistry.

With sedation dentistry, you can be put into a relaxed state with safe anesthetics. This can be accomplished with anti-anxiety medications or by putting you into “twilight sleep.” This is a state of sedation where you are conscious but extremely relaxed.

There are different levels of sedation, from minimal to deep, and sedation can be administered in different forms.

  • Inhaled – Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a form of minimal sedation that will relax you, while you remain conscious. Often you can drive yourself home after your appointment if you were given nitrous oxide
  • Oral – Taking a pill before the dental procedure can produce a minimal sedation that relaxes you, or, depending on the dose, can make you groggy and possibly make you fall asleep during the procedure.
  • Intravenous – You may receive IV sedation because it works quickly, and our dentist can continually adjust the level of sedation.
  • Deep Sedation – General anesthesia is given for procedures that would be painful without it. You will be asleep during the procedure and feel nothing.

Sedation dentistry can not only calm you, it can help if you have a bad gag reflex or difficulty opening your jaws, or if you don’t get numb easily from local anesthetics. With some procedures you may have a local anesthetic even if you are sedated, to ensure a relaxed and completely pain-free experience.

What is Sedation Dentistry?