What’s the Difference Between Anesthesia and Sedation?

Many patients feel nervous before their dental procedures, and dentists have developed methods to help patients feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office. You can discuss every step of the process with your dental professionals to make you feel at ease.

There are medication options dentists offer to help patients with dental fear ensure they have a positive experience. Dr. Christopher Rebol, a dentist in Asheville, NC, describes the differences between anesthesia and sedation dentistry options for your dental procedure.

sedation dentistry options in Asheville North Carolina

Local Anesthetics

A local anesthetic is a medication that a dental professional administers via injection directly to a nerve to numb a specific area. Dentists use this for many dental procedures so that a patient does not feel discomfort while they work on an affected tooth.

A dentist will often apply a topical anesthetic before the injection for optimal patient comfort. The medication usually wears off a few hours following the dental procedure after the patient returns home.

Sedation Dentistry Options

Sedation dentistry refers to tools specifically designed to help patients relax during their dental procedures. You can discuss which treatment will work best with your unique needs and medical history with your dentist for the ideal experience.

Your dentist can provide nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, through a mask over your nose or face. This medication will keep you calm but awake throughout your procedure, and the effects will cease once the mask is removed.

A dentist may also recommend oral sedation, which involves a tablet taken before the dental procedure. Depending on your unique needs, this medication can have varying levels of awareness. You will likely need to coordinate a ride home from the dentist’s office with this option as you may still feel groggy after your procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia delivers medication intravenously that will allow a patient to be unconscious during their dental procedure. This treatment is usually reserved for more invasive oral surgeries or patients with extreme levels of dental fear. The dentist can control the level of sedation with this medication, and though the effects wear off while the patient is in the office, they will likely remain groggy for the rest of the day.

Sedation Dentistry Available in Asheville, NC

Rebol Family Dentistry offers several sedation options for your dental procedure in Asheville, NC. Dr. Rebol specializes in cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 828.247.7222.