Sedation Dentistry

Do you have significant dental fears or anxiety? If so, Hall Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Birmingham, Alabama can help you solve that problem – with sedation dentistry, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and get proper dental care painlessly. We use advanced sedation dentistry for a wide variety of in-house services. Our goal is to ensure you are comfortable, calm and relaxed through any dental treatment or dental procedure. Our team will work closely with you to assess what fears you may have and determine a treatment option that feels comfortable for you.

The Purpose of Dental Sedation

Dental sedation refers to medicine that is designed to reduce physical pain associated with treatment or to reduce anxiety and help you feel more relaxed while dental work is being completed. This makes the experience more pleasant and ensures our staff can perform their duties more effectively. We offer dental sedation in local anesthesia, oral sedation, and laughing gas.

There are several different types of sedation a patient can choose from:

  • IV Sedation: IV sedation acts quickly and wears off quickly, therefore being an extremely safe and common form of sedation dentistry.
  • Inhalation Minimal Sedation (laughing gas): You breathe the gas – combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly (within 3-10 minutes). This is the only form of sedation where you can be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral Sedation: Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For oral sedation, you take a pill, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. In addition to creating a feeling of deep relaxation, the medication may produce other effects. Patients may feel time pass very quickly or otherwise retain little memory of their time in the dental office. Analgesic properties decrease any sensation of pain or discomfort. You will need a driver to and from the office.
A white tooth on a white background
  • What is laughing gas and what does it do?

    Laughing gas is Nitrous Oxide and is commonly used as a local sedation method. It’s colorless and odorless and its usefulness stems from its ability to quickly work and safely reverse its effects. It is a widely considered safe dental sedation method.

  • What type of anesthesia are used for dental work?

    The most common types of anesthesia used are local anesthesia and general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is a numbing medication that is injected directly in the area that is to be treated—usually the gums around an effected tooth. In contrast, general anesthesia produces a more profound experience that usually leaves no memory of the actual procedure. It’s typically used for more intensive procedures like tooth extraction, dental implants or other surgical procedures and the patient is unconscious during the process.

  • What are the benefits of sedation and who can benefit from sedation dentistry?

    There are several benefits of sedation dentistry, including:

    • No IV needles necessary
    • Quiet and comfortable dental visit
    • Safe and effective – FDA approved
    • Little or no recollection of treatment – feels like sleeping
    • No anxiety or stress during treatment
    • Allows Dr. Hall to tend to dental issues before they become worse
    • Patients can sit still for a period of time while they attain a healthy, beautiful smile

    The types of people who can benefit from sedation dentistry are adults who have:

    • high fear or anxiety of visiting the dentist
    • high fear or anxiety of needles and shots
    • had previous traumatic dental experiences or hate the noises, smells and tastes associated with the dental office
    • difficulty getting numb
    • who gag easily
    • very sensitive teeth
    • complex dental problems that require lengthy appointments