Sedation Dentistry: Things You Need to Know

Sedation Dentistry: Things You Need to Know

Mar 01, 2020

Does the thought of making a dental appointment make you feel nervous? Don’t worry! You are not alone. Near about 40% million American people avoid seeing a dentist due to anxiety. Identifying a dental issue at an early stage is vital to avoid costly treatments and permanent damage.

The good news is that there is one remedy that can make patients feels relaxed during dental treatment – Sedation dentistry. It is the dental process that involves the administration of sedative drugs to lower dental phobia in patients.

It can be used for everything – from tooth cleaning to invasive procedures. If you are planning to have it, here are the key things to know.


1. Saves Time

The sedation dentistry procedure is convenient and affordable. Since patients feel relaxed during the process, the doctor can work for a long time and complete multiple complex treatments in a single visit.

Whether its tooth extraction or a smile makeover, patients often feel like the procedure lasts for only several minutes.

2. Boosted Safety

Nervousness can cause patients to face gag reflexes. In this case, they may start choking. Dentists use various sedation methods to help patients avoid psychological pressure.

3. Painless

Pain relief and sedation go hand in hand. It allows the patient to stay relaxed and comfortable through the process. Apart from that, you will feel no pain and also your fear will be also under control. This ultimately prevents traumatic dental experience.

4. Ideal for Patients with Special Needs

The sedation process is easy, fast and convenient. It is widely used to treat patients struggling with cognitive or physical disabilities. This helps them experience less discomfort.

5. Helps those with Anxiety Disorders

Sedatives are effective to those that hate medication smell, drilling sound and the sight of dental office or procedures. It is also beneficial for patients facing general anxiety problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Side Effects

For the majority of patients, dental sedation is extremely safe. But like other medications, it also has few side effects. They are the same for both children and adults.

Also, not every patient faces the same negative effects. Here are some of the common side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision temporarily
  • Difficulty in following instructions

The best way to avoid side effects is to share your entire full medical history with the doctor. This will help them know what medical conditions you already have and what medicines you consume. Remember any of those could interfere with medication and cause adverse effects.

How does It Work?

Dental sedation methods differ depending on the kind of process that the patient requires as per his or her age. Common types of dental sedation include:

a) Inhaled Minimal Sedation

In this process, the patient is asked to breathe a low level of nitrous oxide via a mask placed over the nose. Gas evades fast and helps them relax.

b) Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate dosage. For minimal sedation, the patient consumes the Valium® Halcion® pill one hour before the dental procedure. Although the procedure seems easy, it needs patients to prepare in advance.

However, in the case of moderate sedation, the patient takes a bigger dose of the pill. Few patients become dazed from the dose. They will usually need a gentle shake to make then awake.

c) IV Moderate Sedation

In IV sedation dentistry, the patient receives sedative dug via a vein to make it work fast. It is a perfect option for those with severe anxiety.

Moreover, it allows the doctor to speedily adjust sedation level. This technique is commonly used in complicated dental procedures like wisdom tooth extraction.

d) Deep Sedation

The patient consumes medications that will make them feel unconscious (deeply asleep) during the process. Although the patient is under general anesthesia, they can’t awake until the effects of medication eradicate.

Who is the Right Candidate?

Dental sedation is perfect for people that:

  • Gets extremely anxious when it comes to the dental treatment
  • Possess sensitive teeth
  • Have minimal pain threshold
  • Face chronic jaw pain
  • Are not able to sit still
  • Have powerful gag reflex
  • Want invasive dental procedure
  • Have physical limitations that prevent them from holding the jaw at a specific angle
  • Want dental work to be completed fast

Note: Not everyone is a good candidate for sedation. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to speak with the skilled dentist in your nearby dental clinic today. He or she will help you know the best sedation method to calm your nerves.

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