Dental Sedation Options and Their Related Benefits Could Be the Solution to Your Oral Health Challenges

| 6 min read

While you're likely aware of the benefits of dental care, a trip to the dentist can cause you anxiety. The available options and benefits of sedation can help take-the-edge off of a dental visit and calm your fears.

Dental sedation is designed to help you cope with most levels of dental phobia. Each method of sedation also provides a more comfortable dental appointment overall.

Why use sedation at a dental visit?

Reasons could vary patient to patient. Generally speaking, most request sedation for one or more of the following scenarios.

To manage your anxiety or fear

As noted earlier, dental phobias are common. Sedation enables you to relax and proceed with recommended dental treatment.

To control any pain you might experience

On occasion, dental procedures have the potential to be painful. Certain sedation methods alleviate your anxiety and enable you to experience a more comfortable treatment.

To control movement related conditions

Involuntary muscle movement can occur due to specific conditions such as tics, Parkinson's disease, or cerebral palsy. Sedation is effective for helping control movement issues and to ensure safety during a dental procedure.

To provide an efficient dental visit

Sedation that calms you also gives your dentist an opportunity to treat you more efficiently. For example, a period of sedation could allow more than one procedure to be completed during a single, in-office dental appointment.

To prevent gagging or other reflexive reactions

Perhaps you have an overactive gag reflex. Sedation can assist with suppressing your reflexive response to dental instruments or other aspects of a dental procedure.

To suppress your memory

Some sedation methods enable you to "forget" the details of your dental procedure. This is especially effective if you have a high level dental phobia.

What are the common dental sedation options?

It's good to know that you have options when you prefer to use sedation during a dental procedure. Each solution provides specific relief for your anxiety and helps you have a comfortable experience.

Consult with your dentist to determine the best sedation method for your circumstance. Following are the recommendations that might be suggested.

Nitrous oxide ("laughing gas")

This is considered the mildest sedation option. A small device allows you to breathe the gas through your nose prior to and during your procedure.

Once your procedure is complete, the flow of gas will be stopped and a brief delivery of oxygen will enable the sedative effects to gradually diminish.

Oral sedation

This method is administered via a pill or liquid prescribed by your dentist. The oral sedative is typically taken a least an hour before your appointment.

It's common to experience drowsiness. You will be awake, though relaxed, during your procedure.

IV sedation

This form of sedation is directly administered into a chosen vein. The sedative level can be adjusted throughout your appointment under the supervision of your dentist.

You will likely experience a quick result from IV sedation. It's also common to doze off, although you will be monitored and easily awakened when necessary.

General anesthesia

This method provides a level of unconscious sedation. Though not frequently used for dentistry, it provides an option during more invasive procedures or if you require a deeper sedation than other methods can provide.

How is sedation beneficial for dental treatment?

The benefits of sedation are somewhat aligned with the previously mentioned reasons for using a particular form. As you consider sedation and the option that works best for you, here's what you can expect:

  • A more comfortable dental experience - sedation enables your dental procedure to be more bearable and pleasant.
  • Time savings - as earlier stated, your dentist could combine procedures into one appointment.
  • Safe relaxation - dental sedation is administered by trained professionals to assure proper monitoring and results.
  • Care access - sedation encourages dental care that might otherwise be avoided due to fear or anxiety.

Sedation might seem to be a serious consideration for a dental visit. But the options and related benefits are worth experiencing a stress-free and comfortable appointment.

  • Discuss sedation with your dentist.
  • Ask about the options available for your next procedure.

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