Anesthesia or Sedation Dentistry?

Many patients may become nervous or anxious if their dentist recommends dental work. Dental fear affects patients of all ages, and dentists have worked diligently to find ways to amend this discomfort.

Both anesthesia and sedation can help a patient relax in the dentist’s chair during a procedure. Dr. Joyce Kim, a dentist in Williamsport, PA, describes the different experiences you can expect between treatment with anesthesia and sedation dentistry.

dental sedation options in Williamsport Pennsylvania

Local Anesthetic

Before many dental procedures, your dentist will provide you with a local anesthetic. This is an injection into the nerve of the affected area, which then blocks the nerve from sending signals to the brain.

This medication numbs the area so that the patient does not feel anything during the procedure. The dentist may also apply a topical anesthetic over the area before administering the injection for optimal patient comfort.

A local anesthetic usually takes several hours to wear off completely. The medicine does not affect a patient’s consciousness so they are free to head home directly following the procedure with no restrictions.

Sedation Dentistry Options

Dental sedation can help nervous patients relax and ensure efficient and comfortable dental procedures. There are several types of sedation medication with varying levels of strength.

Dentists can provide patients with nitrous oxide, administered through a nasal mask throughout the dental procedure. This medication relaxes a patient while the mask is worn, but the effects fade almost immediately after the patient stops breathing the gas.

Another sedation treatment is delivered through an oral tablet prior to starting the dental work. The medication fully relaxes the patient such that they should arrange for someone to take them to and from their dental appointment as they cannot drive themselves.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is usually given intravenously and will ensure the patient is completely unconscious throughout the procedure. This treatment is reserved for more invasive procedures or patients with severe cases of dental fear.

The patient will wake up from the anesthesia in the office but may feel groggy or disoriented for some time after the procedure. For this reason, these patients must also arrange a mode of transportation home from the dentist’s office.

Sedation Dentistry Available in Williamsport, PA

Loyalsock Dental Associates offers sedation dentistry and other general dental treatments to patients in Williamsport, PA. Dr. Kim also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 570.989.5271.