What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Dental fear is common among children and adults alike. It can even lead people in need of dental care to avoiding regular check-ups as well as much-needed treatments. However, regular dental care is crucial for maintaining oral health and overall health. That’s where sedation dentistry comes in. It is an option for people with fear and anxiety related to dental procedures.

For certain patients who need it, sedation dentistry has multiple benefits:

  1. Easing fears and anxieties
  2. Helping the patient remain calm during the procedure
  3. Enabling the dentist to perform the procedure without interruptions
  4. Making patients comfortable so they don’t put off necessary care

How Sedation Dentistry Works

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The medication can range from mild to deep sedation, depending on their level of anxiety and the complexity of the procedure. The main types of sedation used in dentistry are oral sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and general anesthesia. It is essential to note that sedation dentistry does not put you to sleep. You will be awake and aware throughout the procedure – just in a state of deep relaxation.

When Do You Need Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can be beneficial for patients who experience dental anxiety, fears or phobias. If you have been avoiding dental visits due to such issues, being sedated can typically help you overcome your fear and get the care you need to maintain your oral health.

Recommended for Gag Reflex, Sensitive Teeth and Staying Still During Procedures

Sedation dentistry is also sometimes recommended for patients who have sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or difficulty staying still during procedures. Additionally, this approach can be used to make complex procedures more comfortable and less stressful for the patient. These may include:

  • Wisdom teeth extractions
  • Root canals
  • Dental implants

4 Common Types of Sedation Dentistry

The type of sedation dentistry a patient chooses might depend on their medical profile, the type of dental procedure, or both. There are four common types of sedation dentistry:

1. Oral Sedation

This involves taking an oral medication, usually about an hour before the procedure. The medication helps you feel calm and relaxed.

2. IV Sedation

This is a type of sedation that is administered intravenously. It is a deeper form of sedation than oral sedation, and the level can be adjusted during the procedure, depending on the patient’s needs.

3. Nitrous Oxide

Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a colorless gas that is inhaled through a mask placed over your nose. It helps you feel relaxed and calm during the procedure.

4. General Anesthesia

This is the deepest form of sedation and is usually reserved for more complex procedures. It is administered through an IV, and you will be completely unconscious and unaware of the procedure.

Patients should keep in mind that they may experience side effects directly after undergoing sedation therapy. Be sure to discuss those with your dentist beforehand.

Will You Be Sedated During Routine Dental Surgery?

Using sedation is more common during certain surgical procedures – particularly more lengthy and complicated ones where more patients demonstrate a need for it. For example, tooth extractions are usually done under local anesthesia, but they are sometimes performed on patients under general anesthesia if more than one tooth needs to be extracted at once.

Finding Someone Locally Who Specializes in Sedation Dentistry

If you are facing the possibility of sedation during a dental procedure, be sure to find an experienced professional who can find the right option for you. At First Class Smiles in Des Plaines, Paul Morrison, DDS is a specialist in sedation dentistry and an active member of many professional industry organizations. Dr. Morrison has a real passion for sedation and implant dentistry, as each allows him to provide transformative results with comfort and ease.

Speak with a specialist at First Class Smiles to determine whether you might be a candidate for sedation dentistry.

Contact Emergency Dentists at First Class Smiles in Des Plaines

Under the right circumstances, sedation dentistry can be an excellent solution for people who experience dental fear and anxiety. It can help them get the care they need to maintain their oral health without experiencing stress or discomfort during the procedure. If you think you may benefit from sedation dentistry, speak to your dentist about the different options available and which one is best suited for your particular needs.

Are you considering dental sedation? First Class Smiles is the oldest continuing dental practice in Des Plaines, Illinois. We provide access to the most advanced treatments in dental care around. Contact us online or call us at (847) 824-3536 to set up an appointment today!