What Is Sedation Dentistry And How Does it Work?

Sedation Dentistry at HSM Dental Group

People who are afraid of the dentist or dental surgery can breathe easy knowing that sedation dentistry is available to them. Being under sedation will allow a patient to be relaxed while the dentist works on their teeth and performs oral surgery, etc.  Patients seem to prefer sedation because it eliminates the pain and reduces their fear of going to the dentist.  The patient will usually be conscious during the procedure but will not be able to feel any pain or pressure. This will help even the most anxious patient get through dental procedures being comfortable and relaxed.

How Do You Know if You Need Sedation When Visiting the Dentist?

Consider this scenario: You’re sitting in the dentist’s chair. The bright light is drying out your eyes, your mouth is dry, and they haven’t even started your cleaning. You wonder if you’ve flossed enough. Do you have a cavity? Will they mock your oral hygiene routine? Will a piece of dental equipment break off and lodge itself in your throat, ending your life and causing your family heartache and distress? Will the chair you’re in suddenly catch fire, leaving you to burn in a state of utter terror?

Maybe your anxiety about the dentist isn’t that bad, but many people experience a real fear of going to the dentist.  Although you know your dentist is just there to help you, making sure your pearliest are as pearly white as they can be and preventing you from developing tooth decay and gingivitis, but yet you have an uncontrollable fear of just being in that dental chair!  You aren’t alone in your fear!  Many people are so afraid of the dentist that they forego the twice-annual cleaning and just let the plaque build up on their teeth, putting them at risk for more serious dental woes, such as cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, etc.

Lucky for those people, someone savvy created sedation dentistry. What is it? How does it work? How does it benefit the anxious dental patient?

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

It is the sedation (via tranquilizers, anti-anxiety meds, or just gas) of a dental patient so that they sleep (or float) their way through the dental work. This is very important to the Thirty-percent or more of people who get completely freaked out by dental visits.

How Does It Work?

There are a few different methods involved with sedation dentistry. In earlier days, the only way a dentist’s office would sedate a patient was through an IV-administered sedative. That’s great if all you fear is the dentist, but terrible if you also fear needles – and many people do. IV sedation is still used today in some cases, but there are other methods of sedation that are more appealing to most patients.

One way to achieve sedation required for sedation dentistry is via nitrous oxide, commonly called “laughing gas.” You might have visions of Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors when you think about this method, but administered safely in a dentist’s office, this is a safe, needle-free way to achieve a relaxed, stress free state during your visit.

The most popular form of sedation dentistry involves oral sedation, which is simply the oral administration of a sedative to alleviate the anxiety involved with a dental visit. The only downside to this type of sedation is the possibility that the drug used could interact with something that you’re already taking, or you could have an allergy to it. Make sure you ask your dentist what drug they use so that you can check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to take that medication.

Your teeth are important and you have to take proper care of them. If you avoid staying on top of your oral health by skipping checkups and dental procedures because you are afraid to go, it can result in more serious dental problems such as tooth decay, root canals, gum disease and possible loss of your teeth.   It is very common to be afraid of the dentist, but you cannot let your fears take over. Instead, relax knowing that sedation is available for you.

You can also rest assured knowing that sedation dentistry is something that has been practiced for many years. It is safe and actually very common. Forget about dealing with pain during your dental procedure, sedation eliminates the pain and lets you get the work done so that your teeth look and feel much better.

Thanks to these advances in dental practices, many people are getting the dental care they have previously avoided.  If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or any other dental matter,  HSM Dental Group can help you!  Don’t delay any longer!  Call HSM Dental Group at (561) 232-2070 today!  We will eliminate any fear and get you on your way to stress-free oral health!