Sedation dentistry is a useful tool for people who have extreme dental anxiety or who have a severe gag reflex. It is also often used in conjunction with local anesthetic for procedures like oral surgery, restorations, or tooth extractions. Talk to your dentist about whether sedation is appropriate for you.
When Is Sedation Appropriate?
Sedation dentistry can be used for a variety of purposes to make your time at the dentist more comfortable. People who suffer from dental anxiety can particularly benefit. Sedation is also very helpful if you need to have several restorations done, as it can help you relax so it’s easier for the dentist to work quickly and efficiently. For oral surgery, it removes all anxiety and helps you remain relaxed throughout your procedure.
Some people have difficulty even having a routine exam. An ultra-sensitive gag reflex, often triggered by anxiety, makes it very difficult for the dentist to work in their mouths. Sedation can help in these cases, as well. If you have any concerns about anxiety, panic attacks, or overall comfort during a dental procedure of any kind, talk to your dentist about the possible options.
How Sedation Works
Sedation dentistry makes use of a mild sedative during your procedure to ensure you are calm, relaxed, and free of any discomfort. Your dentist might prescribe a pill for you to take before the procedure, or he might use nitrous oxide during the procedure. Intravenous sedation is also an option, though this is more often reserved for oral surgery.
While you are sedated, you will be conscious and able to respond to the dentist. Time seems to move faster, which can help you sit quietly through longer procedures—for example if you need to have several things taken care of at a single appointment. If you receive nitrous oxide, it will wear off quickly once you’re no longer breathing it. If you’ve had a sedative pill, you’ll need some time after your appointment for it to wear off, so be sure to arrange for a safe ride home.
If you’re anxious about your next dental appointment, our team at Parker Read is ready to offer you our sedation dentistry options to put you at ease. Contact us today.