Research estimates that somewhere between 9 to 15% of Americans avoid seeing their dentist out of fear. These individuals would endure painful, infected, discolored, and damaged teeth than set foot in a dental office. Or, if they do agree to make an appointment, they dread it all week. Sedation dentistry uses medication to provide a more relaxing experience for those patients who might otherwise not receive dental care because of dental anxiety or dental phobia. Sometimes referred to as “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry, it is now offered by thousands of dentists, including Dr. Mark Jefferies in Herndon, VA. Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You? Sedation dentistry might be right for you if you avoid dental visits due to anxiety. Often times, that anxiety can be attributed to: Negative past experiences Fear of pain or gagging/choking Extreme discomfort with the sounds and smells of dental office Not wanting to feel numb The feeling of losing control Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who: Aren’t able to sit still in a dentist chair Need a large amount of dental work completed Have a low pain threshold Types of Sedation Dentistry Nitrous Oxide Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is an effective sedative that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose. It does not put you to sleep. You will still be able to carry on a conversation with the dentist, but it does help you feel more calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed, and you should be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. Oral Sedation Oral sedation relaxes you and reduces your sense of pain. You are aware of your surroundings and can carry on a conversation, but you’ll be less responsive to what is happening. You will probably also feel drowsy and might feel like taking a nap during the procedure. The pill that is used most often is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. Find a friend or family member to drive you home if you have taken oral sedation. Sedation Dentistry in Herndon, VA We strive to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable in our comprehensive dental office. Our relaxing atmosphere combined with our  professional and friendly staff, have helped hundreds of patients feel more comfortable at the dentist. But if you’re still not convinced, sedation dentistry might be for you! Contact our office online or call us at (703) 570-1152 for more details and to schedule your appointment.