There are many people who fear undergoing a dental procedure. They tend to worry about experiencing pain. If you are concerned about potential discomfort and vulnerability, sedation dentistry might be the right fit for you. Sedation dentistry helps patients remain relaxed during the dental procedure. This post shares all the information about sedation dentistry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

In the simplest of words, sedation dentistry involves a dentist administering sedation. It involves the use of a drug to relax you throughout the dental procedure. General anesthesia is the only type of sedation that renders one completely unconscious. There are other types of sedation that help relax you without knocking you out entirely. The following are some of the most common types of sedation.

  • Oral Sedatives: It is used to help relax patients as they undergo a dental procedure. An oral sedative that is commonly used is diazepam. It should be taken about an hour before the appointment. The patient would be completely awake. However, they would be less anxious and a bit sleepy until the drug wears off.
  • Nitrous Oxide: It is a gas which helps relax patients during the treatment. It tends to wear off rather quickly. Thus, you should be able to drive back home after the procedure.
  • Intravenous Sedatives (IV): Intravenous sedatives are used in varying stages depending on your level of consciousness. It is also called general anesthesia. It puts you to deep sleep until it completely wears off. There are other IV drugs that put you into a slumber where you are less aware of the surroundings and would feel a bit sleepy. It is possible that you might not remember the procedure later on.

A common misconception that most patients have is that they believe that general anesthesia provides the best solution. But, it has its fair share of side effects in comparison to other methods. This is why it might be best to opt for a lesser form of sedation. If the dentist recommends sleep dentistry, he or she is referring to general anesthesia. Even if you want to undergo sleep dentistry or dental sedation, it is important that you discuss your options with the dentist first. Make sure to mention allergic reactions that you have experienced previously to the anesthesia and in general. It will help ensure that the dental professional uses the safest sedation. 

Moreover, you should feel free to talk about local anesthetics. The drugs numb the mouth while you undergo the procedure and help ensure that you do not experience any pain. Local anesthetics are administered by dentists using a short needle. If you have no fear of the dentist, you could go for a local anesthetic.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Even Work?

The type of sedation the dentist selects influences the process. If you take an oral sedative, a prescription will be written by the dentist for the drug. You will also be given instructions on how to take the drug. By following the instructions, you will benefit from increased relaxation and reduced anxiety. As the medication starts to work, you will feel content and drowsy. 

If you decide to opt for nitrous oxide, you would not need to prepare at all. The dentist would supply it before the procedure and after it is complete. On the other hand, if you prefer IV sedation, you would need to prepare in advance. For example, the dentist might require you to fast. This would mean that you would not be allowed to drink or eat anything for a few works before the dental procedure. You might also be told not to take certain medications as they could interfere with the sedation.

Who Requires Sedation Dentistry?

Now that you know everything about sedation dentistry, you must be wondering whether you are a good fit or not. Sedation dentistry is recommended for patients who experience the following.

  • Resistance to the local anesthetic.
  • General anxiety disorder.
  • Phobia involving dental procedures.
  • Bad experience in the past concerning dental work.
  • Sensitive oral nerves
  • A small mouth that easily becomes sore.

If any of the above situations applies to you, it is best that you speak with your dental professional about sedation dentistry. It will help ensure that you undergo various types of dental work like dental implantation, tooth extractions, root canals, and the like without any issues. You can consult with the dentist to determine which option suits you best.


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