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Sedation Dentistry Specialist

Brightwork Family Dentistry -  - Dentist

Brightwork Family Dentistry

Dentists located in Richmond, VA

According to a 2013 study by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, 9-15% of Americans experience anxiety when it comes to seeing the dentist. Sedation dentistry may calm your fears and anxiety. Dr. Benjamin J. Crowley at Brightwork Family Dentistry provides sedation dentistry to patients residing in Richmond, Virginia.

Sedation Dentistry Q & A

What is sedation dentistry?

There are typically 4 levels of sedation dentistry, and after you share your experience and concerns with Dr. Crowley, he’ll make a recommendation based on the type of treatment you’re receiving and your tolerance for sedative medications and procedures. The 4 levels are minimal, moderate, deep, and general anesthesia. When you’re under minimal sedation, you remain awake during the entire procedure, but you’re completely relaxed. Moderate sedation may make it difficult for you to remember the procedure or treatment because you’re so relaxed. Some refer to this level as "conscious sedation," because you’re awake, but you may be quite groggy. Deep sedation means you’re slightly conscious, and while under general anesthesia, you’re completely unconscious.

How safe are these types of sedation?

Dr. Crowley is licensed and professionally trained to administer 2 types of sedatives: oral sedation and nitrous oxide. Based on his assessment during your initial consultation, he’ll recommend the sedation method best suited for your level of anxiety or fear and the treatment. Both types of sedation are completely safe.

What is the difference between oral sedation and nitrous oxide?

Oral sedation is administered by Dr. Crowley, using a mild sedative, usually a specific pill that has similar effects to widely-recognized Valium. Starting with a small dose taken an hour or so before your dental procedure, the oral sedative will relax and calm you. Depending on your state of relaxation, Dr. Crowley may administer a higher dose of the medication for moderate sedation. You’ll need someone to accompany you to the dentist’s office if you plan for minimal or moderate sedation, because you may still experience some grogginess after the procedure. With nitrous oxide, you’re usually able to drive after the procedure. Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” as it’s called, is a sedative administered by Dr. Crowley by placing a mask over your nose. As he instructs you to breathe the gas which will cause you to relax. This type of inhaled sedation helps Dr. Crowley monitor your relaxation and tolerance for the gas.