Everything You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

It’s not uncommon to have some anxiety about visiting the dentist. Chances are, either you or someone you know experiences this. Fortunately, there is a solution available that can help, allowing you to take care of your dental health, stress-free. Sedation dentistry can be used for any dental procedure.

When is it used?

As mentioned, sedation dentistry can be used for patients with dental anxiety or a phobia, but it can also be used for patients with a low pain tolerance, for physical handicaps, or to suppress a strong gag reflex. It may also be necessary for certain procedures, such as root canals, fillings, tooth extractions, or cosmetic procedures.

How does it work?

There are different levels of sedation. The first is the lowest and uses laughing gas, or nitrous oxide. This substance gently helps you to relax and is easily flushed out of the system at the end of your appointment, allowing you to return to normal functioning when you go home. Oral sedation, which comes in the form of a pill and is taken before the appointment, also dulls the senses in a similar way. The other two types of sedation, IV sedation and deep sedation/general anesthesia, are slightly stronger, either putting you on the edge of consciousness or knocking you out completely.

Do you need it?

Talk to your dentist if you think that you may need sedation dentistry. He or she can determine if it will help with any procedures you’ll be undergoing or even with a routine check-up and cleaning. If you’ve ever shown signs of or expressed anxiety about dental procedures, chances are, you’ll be a candidate for sedation.