Sedation Dentistry 101

Sedation Dentistry 101

Apr 01, 2020

Did you know 15 percent of American adults are scared of visiting the dentist? Yes, that is millions of people who put off dental care, cleaning, and oral cancer screening because of fear. If you are one of these people, there is a solution to your anxiety. At Moffitt Dental, we have different sedation dentistry options to relax and give you a pain-free dental experience.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a line of dental treatment that uses medication to help you relax during your dental procedure.

Most dentists can give you mild to moderate anesthesia. However, dental sedation can only be administered by a licensed dental anesthesiologist and oral surgeons. Furthermore, most states require dentists to have a license to offer sedation.

Will I be Unconscious During the Procedure?

Although dental sedation is usually referred to as sleep dentistry, it’s not. You will be awake during the procedure unless the dentist gives general anesthesia.

What Options Do I Have?

Our dentist will guide you in choosing the right form of sedation depending on your procedure and anxiety. The different options include:

• Inhaled sedation or laughing gas

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas causes you to relax in minutes. Furthermore, the dentist can regulate the amount of sedation you receive. The one advantage with inhaled sedation is it wears off relatively quickly with no residual side effects.

• Oral sedation

Oral sedation can be used on mild to moderate dental procedures. The dentist will give you a pill an hour before the procedure to make you relax, but will not get you unconscious. On the downside, the dentist can’t regulate the dosage of the sedation.

If you have severe anxiety, the dentist may give you the oral pill the night before the procedure.

• IV sedation

Intravenous sedation is administered through the veins. The sedation is ideal for procedures such as wisdom teeth extractions and dental surgery. The dentist will continually adjust the level of sedation to keep you calm, but not cause unconsciousness. You will be awake during the procedure, but less aware of what was going on.

• General anesthesia

General anesthesia is also called deep sedation because it causes you to sleep. You will be unconscious during the treatment with no recollection of the procedure. Furthermore, the dentist will use medication to reverse the effects of the anesthesia.

Deep sedation is used for severe and complex dental procedures.

Will There Be Pain?

No. regardless of the type of sedation you receive, the dentist will still use local anesthesia to numb the gums and the affected area.

Are You a Good Candidate for Sedation?

Sedation dentistry is ideal for people with severe dental phobia and anxiety. Additionally, you may use sleep dentistry if you have a low pain threshold, sensitive teeth, bad gag reflex, or you need a complex dental procedure.

Can Sedation Be Used on Children?

Yes, we also give dental sedation to children who are afraid of the dentist and may not cooperate. Mostly we used nitrous oxide because it’s mild. However, the pediatric dentist can also use oral sedation if the situation calls for it. The sedation is safe if used according to the recommended dose for the baby’s weight and height.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Yes, sedation is safe and has minimal risk. Before administering, the dentist will review your medical history to determine if it is safe for you.

Although deep sedation is safe, there are ways you can minimize the side effects and here are a few tips:

  • Check the dentist’s qualification and license
  • Give your dentist all the necessary information related to your medical history
  • Confirm that the dental clinic has sufficient oxygen tank and medication to reverse the effects of general sedation

Don’t Be Afraid of Dental Clinic

We understand you may have dental phobia, but that’s not a reason to avoid coming for your dental checkup. With sedation dentistry, you will be relaxed and comfortable as we perform the dental procedure that you need.

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