What To Expect With Sedation Dentistry

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What To Expect With Sedation Dentistry

Patient under anesthesia in dentist office

Many dental patients suffer from anxiety whenever they need a procedure done, such as a root canal or dental implant. In these cases, sedation dentistry is used to promote relaxation and ease fears about the upcoming dental procedure. There are a few different forms of sedation that dental offices use, but some of the most common are nitrous oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation and oral conscious sedation. Each treatment helps patients feel more comfortable during their stay and is completely safe to use. Find out what to expect during sedation dentistry at your next appointment with this guide!


Basics of Sedation Dentistry

Whenever patients have a dental checkup, their mouths, teeth and gums are reviewed for decay and disease. Depending on the severity of their condition, patients sometimes need teeth extractions, fillings, dental implants and oral surgery. The dental chair is already a feared place to be for many patients, and invasive procedures don’t help with that fear and anxiety. For this reason, sedation dentistry has become popular among patients who need additional help to relax during dental procedures. Sedation dentistry uses various types of anesthesia to numb the area that is being treated and induce relaxation. Local anesthesia is popular among young kids whenever they’re having a cavity filled, but adults benefit from it as well during crown placement and gum disease treatment. Many times, a topical anesthetic will be used to numb the area before injecting a local anesthetic, which spreads to the nerves. Sedatives can be administered in pill, gas or medicinal forms, and they can be used before and during treatment. These types of sedatives are called enteral sedation, and while they help relax you, you will stay awake throughout the entire procedure. Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is a mild form of sedation that you inhale before treatment to ease anxiety, and it is the most common form of sedation. It wears off quite quickly so you will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment. Some patients opt for IV sedation, which is injected into your veins and puts you into a deep relaxation state, though you are still awake. During this time, you’re unaware of the procedure and will require some time to recuperate after your appointment. Lastly, general anesthesia is used to induce sleep by also injecting drugs into the veins. This form of sedation requires you to remain in the office for some time for recovery and you will need someone to drive you home from your appointment. 


Why Is Sedation Dentistry Used?

Most patients who choose to be sedated during their dental appointments often have feelings of anxiety or fear of dental procedures, the dentist or of the experience itself. It is perfectly normal to feel nervous about the instruments that are inserted into your mouth to clean teeth and remove decay. Whether you’re nervous about going to the dentist or dislike the feeling that the dental instruments make on your teeth, sedation dentistry can help. Sedation dentistry helps promote a relaxing, comfortable experience for stressed-out patients who need dental work. Those with serious phobias of dental work benefit greatly from sedation dentistry as it puts their fear at ease for the duration of their procedure. For more invasive procedures, sedation is necessary to override the pain that most often accompanies it, such as with oral surgery. In the case where extensive work will be needed to fix oral problems, sedation might also be necessary so that the process is easier for the dentist to perform. This decreases the risk of the patient interfering with the procedure by moving sporadically or asking questions that prevent the dentist from safely extracting teeth or making incisions in the mouth. 


Protocol For Administering SedationYoung woman sitting in dental chair shaking hand with dentist.

Not all dentists are licensed to perform sedation dentistry. If you would like to be sedated for your next procedure, make sure that the dental office that you attend can provide sedation techniques before you schedule your appointment. Most dentists are able to administer nitrous oxide, but other techniques require specific training and equipment. Most U.S. states require dentists to have a sedation license before they can perform any procedures with sedation, but not every dentist is qualified to do so. If a dental office doesn’t have a licensed provider who can perform sedation dentistry, many times they will contract other dentists and physicians to come into their office whenever a patient needs sedation performed. The American Dental Association has created guidelines that describe the type of training that dentists in each state need to complete before they can receive their sedation license and begin performing procedures, and each state’s guidelines differ according to what the local board of dentistry determines appropriate. 


Improve Your Dental Experience With Sedation 

At Mountain Aire Dentistry, Dr. Berry and his team are experienced in multiple forms of sedation dentistry and can help calm your fears before your next dental procedure. We will make sure that you feel comfortable and safe throughout your time in the office while giving you the best dental care possible. Call our office today at (303) 731-7755 for more information on sedation dentistry and to schedule your next appointment!