Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Call us to schedule an appointment: (540) 373-6557

242 Butler Road Ste 101, Fredericksburg, VA 22405   Office Location

Delta Dental • Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield

Sedation Dentistry

Dental sedation is a range of techniques that can be used to reduce dental anxiety or dental phobia. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist, to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. We can also dim the lights, provide head phones and even a blanket to help make you comfortable (Just ask!). Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.

Female Children Smiling

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. We use this technique with all children who need fillings, often in place of local anesthesia (No shots!). This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain for most adults. Nitrous oxide takes effect in a few minutes, is relatively mild and the effects go away in about five minutes. This technique can be used for any procedure and it is okay to drive afterwards. Just let your assistant know if you think it will make you more comfortable.

Oral Sedatives

This medication, usually Valium, can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. This can be combined with Nitrous Oxide for an increased effect. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so local anesthetic will also be administered. Patients taking oral sedatives should have someone else drive them to and from the appointments.

Middle Aged Couple Smiling

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

IV Sedation describes many different techniques. Levels of sedation depend greatly on the types of medications given. In our office, we like to use intravenous diazepam, or Valium, due to its wide safety margin. With this type of sedation one can expect to experience euphoria and a good bit of amnesia. This means you may relax and fall asleep, yet the drug does not put you to sleep. You should be in a state where you can respond to us when we talk to you, but you will not remember much about the procedure. Like oral sedatives, IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to be awake but in an extreme state of relaxation with little or no discomfort for many procedures. This technique can be used after a short consultation and evaluation of your medical condition.

With IV sedation we are able to do more complex surgeries without you, the patient, experiencing every detail. We use IV sedation for all impacted wisdom teeth removals, full mouth extraction cases for immediate dentures and gum surgery. You will need to have a driver after IV sedation and you must stay at home for the rest of the day.


We’re Here For You!

Dr. Burns and his team are here to help you feel your best. If there is anything we can do for you to make your experience more enjoyable and positive, do not hesitate to ask and we will be sure to accommodate you in the best way possible. Your experience at Burns Family Dentistry is important to us.