Sedation Dentistry

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry offers a variety of anesthesia and sedation services for patients undergoing dental treatment. Many people choose sedation or anesthesia to make their dental appointments more comfortable.

Some of the reasons are:

  • To reduce or eliminate stress, anxiety and fear associated with dentistry
  • To eliminate painful experiences
  • Increased comfort during long appointments
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • A severe gag reflex

Almost any procedure can be completed with sedation, including, x-rays, impressions, fillings, crowns, extractions, implants, gum surgery and root canals. For many levels of sedation you may not even remember the procedure. With sedation, your dentistry may also take fewer appointments to complete.

There are many different levels of sedation and anesthesia: from oral or pill form, to intravenous conscious sedation, to general anesthesia. We can help you choose what is best for you.

We can prescribe a variety of oral medications to decrease anxiety before your appointment. Sometimes one little pill is all you need to remove most anxiety about dentistry. We also offer nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”).

Intravenous sedation, or “twilight sleep,” is beneficial for anyone who requires significant stress reduction to have dentistry completed. This is often the most effective way to achieve the most comfort and least anxiety.

For those who are not comfortable enough for dental care with sedation we offer dental care in the hospital with general anesthesia. Candidates for hospital general anesthesia are usually young children needing significant dentistry, patients with special needs or neurological impairments, and those who require extensive dentistry that cannot be completed with sedation.

If you have additional questions, please ask your dental provider to set up a consultation appointment.