Updated: Get Past Dental Anxiety with Sedation Dentistry

Jul 24, 2023

This post was originally written in February 2017, and updated in July 2023.

Dental anxiety affects many people and can stem from various reasons like fear of pain, the sound of dental tools, or the mere thought of spending an extended time in the dental chair. Sadly, this fear often prevents individuals from receiving necessary dental care, which can lead to more severe oral health issues later on. Luckily, sedation dentistry offers a solution to overcome dental anxiety and obtain the required treatment.

Sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, involves the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The level of sedation administered varies from mild to moderate, depending on the patient’s needs and the procedure’s nature. Several types of sedation dentistry are available, including nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild sedative inhaled through a mask over the patient’s nose. It takes effect quickly and wears off just as swiftly, allowing patients to resume their daily activities immediately after their dental appointment.

Oral sedation requires the patient to take a pill or liquid medication before the dental visit. The level of sedation can range from mild to moderate, depending on the dosage and the patient’s tolerance level. Oral sedation effectively reduces anxiety and helps patients feel more relaxed during the procedure.

IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, involves administering medication directly into the patient’s bloodstream through an IV. This type of sedation is typically used for complex dental procedures or patients with severe dental anxiety.

It’s important to note that regardless of the type of sedation dentistry used, patients remain conscious and able to communicate with the dentist if needed. However, they experience a deep state of relaxation, significantly enhancing the comfort and tolerability of the dental experience.

Apart from reducing anxiety, sedation dentistry offers other benefits as well. It facilitates dentists in performing multiple procedures in a single appointment, which is particularly beneficial for patients with busy schedules. Additionally, it alleviates discomfort for patients with sensitive teeth or a strong gag reflex during the procedure.

If you’re interested in sedation dentistry, it’s crucial to consult your dentist to determine the most suitable sedation method for you. Your dentist will consider your medical history, the procedure requirements, and your anxiety level to determine the appropriate sedation approach.

Dental anxiety is a common issue that hinders people from receiving necessary dental care. However, sedation dentistry provides a viable solution to conquer this fear and obtain the required treatment. If dental anxiety is a concern for you, consider discussing the option of sedation dentistry with your dentist to ensure a more comfortable and stress-free dental appointment in the future.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a qualified dental professional to determine the best dental/orthodontic treatment for your needs.