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Sedation Dentistry – San Antonio, TX

Dental Care
the Stress

Man relaxing after sedation dentistry

Do you always have an excuse to not go to the dentist? Have you cancelled your last few appointments or avoided checkups for years because of fear and anxiety? At New Image Dentistry, we completely understand. Dental phobia is a real thing that countless patients have to deal with, but rather than just telling you to “calm down,” we’re ready to offer a more tangible solution in the form of sedation dentistry. With the safe and proven methods outlined below, we can calm a racing mind and prevent physical discomfort during any procedure. We can discuss your sedation options to ensure that your next trip to the dentist is the most comfortable one ever. Give us a call today to learn more about options for sedation dentistry in San Antonio, TX.

Why Choose New Image Dentistry for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Sedation Available for
    Any Procedure
  • Gentle Enough for Children,
    Strong Enough for Adults
  • Friendly, Family-Owned

Who Should Consider Sedation Dentistry?

Fearful patient in need of sedation dentistry covering her mouth

You may want to consider sedation if:

  • You are fearful or anxious of dental treatment and dental instruments
  • You have extensive dental needs that will require longer appointments
  • You experience difficulty feeling numb using local anesthesia
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex
  • You suffer from any health issues, such as neck or back pain, which could lead to discomfort while sitting in a dentist's chair

IV Dental Sedation 

I V sedation dentistry drip

IV sedation is our most potent option, in which the sedative is administered directly into the bloodstream via an injection in the hand or arm. It can provide powerful relaxation. In fact, some patients fall asleep while under its influence. We can control it precisely throughout any procedure. We carefully monitor patients to ensure their safety. Most patients can benefit from it, including both adults and children.

What Is IV Dental Sedation?

IV bag against light blue background

With IV sedation, we administer sedative medications directly into a patient’s bloodstream, typically through their hand or arm. The most common medications used are Midazolam and Diazepam.

This method allows sedation to take effect very quickly, so patients can relax right away and our team can get to work on their dental procedure. IV sedation is more powerful than nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation, and its effects can take up to an entire day to wear off.

IV sedation is often termed “twilight sedation” because it can make patients fall asleep. However, it does not cause unconsciousness. If our team needs you to respond to directions or questions, you we should be able to rouse you without too much difficulty.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IV Dental Sedation? 

Dental patient relaxing in treatment chair

We typically recommend this approach for patients who have extreme dental fear or who need to undergo a complicated procedure. It can also be tremendously helpful for those who want to save time by having multiple procedures completed in a single appointment. Additionally, if you have an extremely sensitive gag reflex or are not easily numbed, IV sedation may be an appropriate solution.

Before we use IV sedation with a patient, we first ask about their medical history and any current medications they are taking. This is to ensure they remain safe throughout the procedure. Although most patients are candidates for IV sedation, there are some exceptions, such as pregnant individuals and those with certain allergies.

The Benefits of IV Dental Sedation

Male patient making thumbs up gesture

Some noteworthy benefits of IV sedation include:

  • It induces a deep state of relaxation. This can be extremely helpful for patients who have undergone traumatic dental care experiences in the past. It also causes a degree of amnesia, so you will not remember your procedure.
  • The effects kick in quickly. You can expect the relaxation to take effect very soon after we begin to administer the sedative medication.
  • We can control the flow of medication. If we determine that you need more help to stay calm at any point during your procedure, we can increase your dosage.
  • It can empower you to care for your smile. Some patients struggle with overwhelming fear or anxiety and simply cannot visit the dentist without the help of sedation.
One of the best parts about IV sedation is that it is incredibly fast-acting. A patient becomes deeply relaxed almost instantly. Even better, it doesn’t completely knock someone out, so they can still communicate with our team throughout their treatment. This enables us to adjust someone’s sedation level in real-time to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.


Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation

Patient with nitrous oxide dental sedation mask

Nitrous oxide sedation has been used for over 100 years to soothe nervous dental patients, and the reason it’s still popular today is simple: it works! It’s so gentle that we can even use it with young children, but it’s still a viable option for adults who need just a little help getting through their dental appointments. The odorless gas is inhaled through a small nasal mask throughout the procedure, and it causes a patient to experience feelings of warmth, happiness, and calm. Once the visit is over and the mask is removed, the effects wear off within minutes, meaning a patient can get right back to their day without interruption.

Learn More About Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation

a patient in San Antonio undergoing oral conscious sedation

If you struggle with dental-related anxiety, going to the dentist might be a tough endeavor for you. In fact, there are probably several other places you’d rather be than seated in the chair for treatment! However, there is a way to feel comfortable and relaxed while your smile receives the care it needs: oral conscious sedation. Keep reading to learn a little more about this incredible solution, or feel free to contact our team today for additional information or to schedule an appointment.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

a patient in San Antonio visiting her dentist

Oral conscious sedation is actually one of the most popular treatments used in sedation dentistry. It’s incredibly effective and easy to use; a sedative pill is taken prior to your appointment, and by the time you arrive at our office, you’ll feel completely relaxed and ready for care. You also won’t have to worry about any needles or wearing a face mask.

During your consultation, we’ll thoroughly review your medical history to confirm that you’re a viable candidate for this method of sedation. However, once you’ve been given the green light, you can rest assured that your appointment will be a smooth experience. We can also ensure that the pill is weaker or stronger depending on the severity of your anxiety.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

a closeup of a patient taking a sedative pill

In order for the effects of the medicine to kick in by the time you’re seated for treatment, a prescription sedative is taken before the appointment even begins (usually around an hour prior). It’s worth noting that your sedation is not meant to put you to sleep entirely, meaning you’ll still be able to communicate with our team during your visit. However, because of the effectiveness of the sedative, you’ll need to have a friend or family member drive you to and from the appointment.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

a patient in San Antonio suffering from dental-related anxiety

Oral conscious sedation is often a great option for patients who:

  • Suffer from dental fear, nervousness, or anxiety
  • Regularly put off seeking dental care due to their nerves
  • Have difficulty keeping their mouth open or sitting in a chair for long periods of time
  • Need to undergo multiple or complex treatments
  • Suffer from a sensitive gag reflex
  • Cannot effectively receive local anesthesia
  • Have had bad dental experiences in the past

Benefits of Sedation

Sedation dentistry offers a litany of benefits beyond helping patients feel more comfortable in the treatment chair, and one of our doctors goes over some of the lesser-known ones so you can decide whether or not sedation is right for you.

Types of Sedation

Dr. Gonzalez provides a brief but information-packed summary of the various types of sedation we offer at New Image Dentistry. To learn more about each type, simply read this page, or be sure to give us a call if you have any questions!

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Picture of nitrous oxide dials

As dental professionals, we’re always trying to find ways to make sure that our patients are completely at ease for the duration of their stay with us. Sedation is one of the most effective tools at our disposal to help anxious patients, so we do what we can to help patients understand everything that they can about the sedation options available to them.

With that in mind, here are answers to some of the questions we get most often about sedation dentistry.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe While Pregnant?

When sedating pregnant patients, there is sometimes a risk of the drugs being passed on to the fetus. While it’s possible under some circumstances to use sedation dentistry during pregnancy, it’s important to make sure that the timing is right to ensure the best outcomes for both the patient and their child.

In the first trimester, sedatives may lead to problems with the child’s development. In the third trimester, sedatives have been known to induce premature labor. Thus, the safest time to perform treatments that require sedation is in the second trimester.

However, we’ll usually try to wait until after pregnancy to do sedation dentistry. If we do perform sedation during pregnancy, it’ll typically be the lowest amount of the drug that we can manage.

Will I Remember the Procedure After Sedation?

While most dental sedation is designed to keep you awake for the duration of your treatment, you should be in a dreamlike state that will make it very hard to remember what actually happened during the treatment. You’ll be able to remember more of the treatment in the case of weaker sedatives, and less for stronger ones.

How Long Does Dental Sedation Last?

How long it will be before your dental sedation wears off has a lot to do with which variety of sedation you choose. In the case of nitrous oxide sedation, the effects will wear off within a few minutes of the flow of gas stopping, with no lingering effects.

IV sedation will also wear off fairly quickly, but it’s common to experience a fair amount of grogginess for a few hours afterward. Then there’s oral conscious sedation, which will linger for the rest of the day and can affect you for up to 24 hours after the procedure.

In any case, it’s usually a good idea to get someone to drive you home after in the event that you’re still under the influence of the sedative. Everyone responds to sedation differently, and while most people can expect nitrous oxide to wear off quickly, it’s better to be safe.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right For Me?

Sedation is incredibly safe for people of all ages, meaning that just about anyone who has been avoiding the dentist’s office could potentially benefit from what sedation dentistry has to offer. This of course applies to anxious patients, but there are other ways in which sedation can be useful as well.

If you have a sensitive gag reflex, for example, sedation may make you significantly less tense. You may also benefit from sedation if you have trouble sitting still during treatment, or if you’re undergoing several treatments at once.

The only caveat is that there are some medical conditions that could make sedation problematic, as well as some medications that could conflict with the sedatives. We’ll carefully review your medical history before beginning sedation dentistry.