You are here:

How Can Sedation Dentistry Help Me?

Have you ever heard of Sedation Dentistry? Does the idea of having your teeth professionally cleaned give you goosebumps? Do you prefer the suffering of a significant toothache versus stepping one foot in a dentist’s office? You are not unique. Many people have such a dental phobia about going to the dental checkup that they typically opt-out of oral treatment.

For those who avoid their dentist, sedation dentistry could be the answer to ease their anxiety. Sedation is often used for everything, from invasive procedures to routine tooth cleaning. How a dentist uses, it will depend on the severity of a person’s fear.

Oral sedation enables Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel DDS to perform simple and complex dental procedures in a safe and pleasant environment for patients who have dental phobias.

Sedation Dentistry Enables Anyone to Get Dental Treatments
Sedation Dentistry Infographic Explainer

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry utilizes medicine to help patients relax throughout a dental procedure. Sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, though, that title is not entirely accurate. Patients are generally awake, except for those who are under general anesthesia.

What Types of Sedation Are Accepted in Dentistry?

  • Inhalation Sedation

    You breathe nitrous oxide – also referred to as laughing gas – blended with oxygen within a mask which is placed atop your nose — the gas assists in your relaxation. Your dentist regulates the amount of sedation you get. This type of sedation is the only form of sedation, which may allow you to drive yourself home after the oral surgery.

  • Minimal Sedation

    Oral sedation ranges from minimal to moderate. Minimal sedation consists of you taking a pill. Halcion, which is in the same drug family as Valium, is taken approximately an hour prior to the procedure. The medicine will make you tired, though you will still be alert. A more substantial dose may be administered to provide moderate sedation. This anesthesia is most commonly affiliated with sedation dentistry. Some patients become groggy enough from oral sedation that they fall asleep during their surgery.

  • IV Moderate Sedation

    You receive the sedative drug intravenously, so it begins to work more quickly. This permits the dentist to adjust the level of sedation continually.

  • General Anesthesia

    Patients receive medication that makes them almost unconscious or unconscious — genuinely asleep — throughout the procedure. While under general anesthesia, the patient is not easily awoken until the anesthesia wears off.

Regardless of the type of sedation you choose, you’ll almost always need a local anesthetic – numbing medicine administered at the site the dentist is operating in the mouth – to reduce pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.

Who Can Have Sedation at the Dentist?

Sedation is appropriate for somebody with fear or anxiety that is deterring them from going to the dentist.

Sedation dentistry may additionally be appropriate for those who:

  • possess a low pain-threshold
  • can’t remain calm in a dentist’s chair
  • have tender teeth
  • have a severe gag reflex
  • need a substantial amount of dental work performed

Children who are terrified of visiting the dentist may be given sedation. A small percentage of pediatric dentists provide oral sedation. Oral sedation for children is safe when administered within the recommended dosage for the child’s respective age and weight.

Do All Dentists Perform Sedation?

The Majority of dentists can administer minimal sedation, such as nitrous oxide. A growing number of dentists can provide moderate sedation. Dentists who have completed the CODA certification in deep sedation and general anesthesia can practice these more sophisticated techniques. Some dentists employ a dental anesthesiologist who is specially qualified to provide all levels of sedation and anesthesia.

Every state’s dental board regulates the application of sedation techniques.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

When receiving anesthesia, there is always a risk; however, its usually safe when administered by trained dentists. For those who are obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea, you should talk to your doctor before receiving sedation.

It’s important to verify that your dentist is authorized to administer sedation. Be a vigilant patient and make sure the following things are done:

  • Before your oral procedure, the dentist should go over your medical history to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for sedation.
  • Always ask whether the dose of the sedative is appropriate for your age and health.
  • Be aware of how much training your dentist has and the number of procedures they have performed using sedation.