Sedation Dentistry 101: An Inside Look Into What It Is, Types, and Who Needs It

Sedation Dentistry 101: An Inside Look Into What It Is, Types, and Who Needs It

Aug 02, 2021

Does your stomach get queasy whenever you think of the dentist’s chair? Don’t fret! Dental phobia is nothing new, neither is it something to be embarrassed about. Countless patients have dental anxiety and are still maintaining their oral health because of sedation dentistry.

Your dental health affects your overall health, so you cannot put off visiting our dentist because you have dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry was designed to help patients like you who have dental anxiety or dental phobia.

Research has revealed that out of ten people, four have dental anxiety. If dental anxiety is not dealt with, it can escalate to dental phobia. However, our dentist is well capable of helping you deal with dental anxiety. Armed with the correct information, you can weather any storm. Let’s see what sedation dentistry can do for you.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

In a nutshell, sedation dentistry is a dental service that involves using drugs to calm your nerves during dental procedures. The whole idea is to make you comfortable and calm enough for our dentist to work on your smile. In other words, sedation dentistry is a type of dental anxiety treatment.

There is a misinformed notion that sedation dentistry is designed to make people unresponsive or unconscious during their dental treatment.

However, this isn’t always the case. Sedation is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. There are different forms with different levels, and not every type will render you unconscious. The type of sedation that will be administered will be dependent on the procedure, your preferences, and your health.

Types of Sedation

As mentioned earlier, there are different forms of sedation, including:

  • Oral Sedation

With oral sedation, you will receive anti-anxiety drugs orally. These drugs take a couple of minutes before they kick in.

In this form of sedation, you will be awake, responsive, and relaxed during the dental procedure. You might experience some drowsiness, even slight amnesia after the procedure. The procedure is appropriate for patients who have a sensitive gag reflex or fear dental equipment.

  • Inhalation Sedation

It is also a form of conscious sedation, like oral sedation. However, instead of being administered orally, it is inhaled. You will wear a gas mask, and then the laughing gas will be dispensed. You will also be calm and conscious throughout the procedure.

Our dentist will regulate the amount of gas sedative to ensure that you get enough to keep you relaxed during the procedure.

  • IV Sedation

With IV sedation, our dentist will administer the sedatives intravenously. The drugs kick in almost immediately and render you unconscious, or you can be partially awake. This will depend on the dosage that will be administered. The dosage can always be altered anytime during the procedure.

  • General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a form of deep sedation. The drugs are also administered intravenously. However, you will be rendered unconscious throughout the procedure. A certified anesthesiologist always administers general anesthesia.

Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is appropriate for anyone who has the following conditions:

  • If you have a phobia that is set off by the sight of dental equipment such as syringes and drills
  • If you had a traumatic dental experience before, that makes you fear the dentist’s chair
  • If your gag reflex is sensitive
  • If you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia that can compromise the dental procedure
  • If you have a high tolerance to local anesthesia
  • If you have a low threshold for pain
  • If you need to undergo multiple procedures in one visit

How Long Will I Be Sedated?

How long you will be sedated will be dependent on the procedure that you will be undergoing. In most cases, you will be under sedation for between 15 and 30 minutes. In other cases, you may be under sedation for several hours if you may need to undergo a far more complex dental procedure.

After the Procedure

Most patients will be able to resume their normal activities after 24 hours. Of course, people are different, and so you will react differently to dental sedation. People of better health or younger may metabolize the drugs more efficiently, meaning that the sedation will wear out faster.

On the other hand, if you are of poor health or older, dental sedation may last longer.

Contact our dentist at Open Wide Dental if you need sedation dentistry.

We welcome patients from all surrounding locations to visit our dental office in Phoenix, AZ

  • Biltmore Area
  • Glendale

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