Sedation Dentistry for Dental Anxiety

Sedation Dentistry for
Dental Anxiety

For patients suffering from dental anxiety, a simple trip to the dentist can be a major ordeal. With sedation dentistry, it doesn’t have to be. There are different types of sedation dentistry treatments to ease the mildest to most severe dental anxiety. Read on to learn how Seattle dentist Mark Caggiano’s dental sedation treatments can help you.


The symptoms of dental anxiety can be minor or severely debilitating. If you experience any of the following symptoms before or during dental treatment, you may benefit from dental sedation treatment.

  • Feelings of minor to extreme stress or nervousness in the days leading up to a dental appointment, typically worsening as the appointment approaches
  • Feeling anxious or uneasy
  • Feeling physically ill
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling panicked when at the dentist
  • Feeling like crying or actually crying at the thought of going to see the dentist


Sedation dentistry keeps patients comfortable during dental treatment. There are different levels of sedation and different methods designed to fit each patient’s needs and degree of dental anxiety. Minimal sedation methods are good for those with minor anxiety. Minimal sedation allows patients to stay awake during treatment but provides enough sedation to relax the patient.

Moderate sedation also allows the patient to stay awake, however, patients may feel like they’re in a dreamlike state and not remember much of the dental treatment.

For those with more severe dental anxiety, deep sedation or even general anesthesia may be preferable. Deep sedation puts patients in a light sleep and general anesthesia renders the patient completely unconscious. Both of these options allow severe dental anxiety sufferers to stay calm and comfortable during dental treatment.

The level of sedation is controlled by the type of sedative used as well as the dose. Some types of sedatives used to help dental anxiety sufferers include:

Oral Sedation: Oral sedation uses a pill taken orally about an hour before treatment. A higher or lower dosage can be given to provide minimal to moderate sedation.
Inhaled Sedation: Inhaled sedation is administered via a gas, a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen, and a breathing mask. The mask is worn over the nose and breathed in during treatment to keep the patient comfortable. The amount of sedation varies based on the amount of nitrous oxide administered.
IV Sedation: IV sedation is fast acting because it is administered via the bloodstream. This requires an IV to be placed within a vein.
General Anesthesia: General anesthesia is best suited for severe dental anxiety sufferers and offers the highest level of sedation. With general anesthesia, patients are put into deep sleep until the sedative wears off or until a medication is given to reverse the effects of the sedative.


Sedation dentistry can help even the most severe dental anxiety sufferers get the dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. To find out if sedation dentistry is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Caggiano today.

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For over 25 years, Dr. Mark Caggiano, DDS has provided cosmetic and restorative dentistry in a comfortable, professional environment. Dr. Caggiano received a degree in Biology and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Southern California. He has had extensive post-graduate training and is a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Dental Association and The International Dental Implant Association. Dr. Caggiano makes dental treatment relaxed and comfortable for patients while enhancing their oral health and beautifying their smiles.



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