Types of Sedation

Sedation Dentistry is an important service offered at DC Smiles for patients who experience fear and anxiety over visiting the dentist. With assistance from sedatives and anesthetics that are carefully prescribed by our Alexandria dentist, patients who visit DC Smiles can experience care-free dental treatment, no matter how complicated their procedure.

If you’re in Alexandria, VA and need a skilled, compassionate sedation dentist, please contact DC Smiles online or call Old Town Alexandria Office Phone Number 703-299-4614 to schedule an appointment with our compassionate team.

The level of sedation that our dentist selects for a particular procedure is based on the procedure, the patient, his/her medical history, and the doctors preference.

Minimal Sedation

Minimal sedation is a drug-induced state during which patients respond normally to verbal commands and are relatively awake, but calm and relaxed.

Two anesthesia options allow our Alexandria dentist to offer this service to patients:

  • Anxiolysis/Conscious Sedation
  • LMAC (Local with Monitored Anesthesia Care)

Moderate Sedation/Analgesia

Moderate Sedation is provided by our Alexandria dentist is a drug-induced depressed consciousness during which patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation. Patients will feel drowsy and may sleep through the procedure, and may or may not remember being in the procedure room.

Working alongside our own doctors, an anesthesiologist will be monitoring vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, which will be watched closely in order to avoid sudden changes or complications.

Deep Sedation

Deep sedation is a drug-induced depressed consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposefully following repeated or painful stimulation.

Patients who opt for this sedation dentistry option will have little or no memory of the procedure. During the procedure, breathing can slow down and patients may sleep until the medication wears off. Supplemental oxygen is also given.

General Endotracheal/LMA Anesthesia

General Anesthesia is a drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are unconscious and unresponsive, and not arousable, even by painful stimulation.

There are a number of general anesthetic drugs at the disposal of our sedation dentist. Some are gases or vapors inhaled through a breathing mask or tube and others are medications introduced through a vein. The patient is carefully monitored, controlled and treated by one of the Horizon anesthesiologists who use sophisticated equipment to track all major bodily functions. A breathing tube may be inserted through the mouth and frequently into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing during this period. The length and level of anesthesia is calculated and constantly adjusted with great precision. At the conclusion of surgery, the anesthesiologist will reverse the process and the patient regains consciousness.


During a sedation dentistry procedure, local anesthesia numbs your mouth and provides you with a comfortable visit. But what about after the appointment? Dental anesthetic usually lasts between three and five hours. Long after you’ve left the office, the lingering numbness takes a toll on your speech, smile, and ability to eat or drink without mishap. You may even find yourself drooling.

But our dentist can provide a solution.

OraVerse works to reverse the unwanted effects of numbness after dental treatment so you can return to normal function and enjoy your day. The first and only product that effectively and rapidly diminishes the effects of local anesthetic, OraVerse has been clinically proven to speed up your recovery to full sensation and function after a dental procedure.

Sedation dentists on our Team will administer OraVerse through an injection immediately after treatment, so the affected area can feel normal more quickly. Since you will still be numbed, it is likely you wont feel the injection, and you’ll soon be able to get on with your day without limitation.