Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax In The Dentist’s Chair?

Dr. Ilya Benjamin

Dental anxiety is a real thing! Some people get nervous at the idea of going to the dentist, while others get anxious even thinking about a dental procedure. Dental anxiety affects millions of people!

What Is Dental Anxiety? How Does It Affect Oral Health?

Dental anxiety is a fear of the dentist that causes a patient to avoid seeking routine dental care or postpone treatment due to fear. Dental anxiety can affect your oral health by causing teeth cleanings and exams to be delayed, which can result in the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, and even tooth loss if left untreated for too long. When patients experience dental anxiety, they may also avoid visiting their dentist for regular checkups so they do not encounter any discomfort during routine exams and cleanings. Untreated oral conditions like gum disease can worsen over time and lead to serious complications. Common symptoms of dental anxiety are feelings of nervousness and panic in your dentist chair or even feeling physically ill when thinking about an upcoming dental appointment. If dental appointments cause such severe symptoms for you, you can benefit from sedation dentistry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a method of addressing severe anxiety or discomfort in the dentist’s chair. The major types of sedation dentistry are as follows:

  • Oral Sedation Dentistry

Another option for sedation dentistry is an oral medication taken about an hour before your appointment. This form of sedative allows patients to feel relaxed while remaining conscious enough to respond to questions and requests. They are able to respond to verbal cues and can breathe on their own throughout the procedure.

  • Nitrous Oxide 

Also known as laughing gas or “happy air,” nitrous oxide sedative is administered through a mask that fits over the nose. It is mixed with oxygen and delivered to breathe for the patient within a few minutes of administration. Its effects wear off quickly after the procedure is over, making it an ideal option for those needing multiple visits in one day. The patient is able to drive themselves to and from the appointment.

  • Intravenous Sedation Dentistry

For a patient who is fearful of dental treatment or has extensive treatment needs, intravenous sedation may be the best option. With this type of sedation, the medication is delivered directly into the bloodstream through the person’s vein. It is sometimes referred to as “twilight sleep” because of its drowsy effects. Patients typically do not remember the procedure at all. However, it does carry some risk if the patient has a reaction to any of the medications. This type of sedative is administered by a dentist with special training.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Yes – by every definition, sedation dentistry is safe. Sedation dentistry is a method of administering sedatives to make the patient extremely relaxed or sleep during dental procedures. The procedure will always be carried out by a trained professional who has received training to administer sedation. Patients should rest assured that they are in good hands with a trusted provider who is committed to keeping them safe and comfortable during procedures.

Call Dream Dental at (725) 234-3106 or schedule an online appointment to learn more about dental implant placement. We can’t wait to help you restore your smile to optimal health and confidence!

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Dr. Ilya Benjamin
Written by Dr. Ilya Benjamin
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