Visiting a dental office is often not a calming or relaxing experience. It can induce anxiety, nervousness, elevated heart rates, and create general stress. It’s fairly normal that people experience a certain amount of fear and discomfort when walking into a dentist’s office and sitting down in the chair. For some people, however, this anxiety can be debilitating and it can make the procedure not only difficult, but potentially dangerous to perform on a patient in an agitated state.

For many people, the only method they have of combatting this fear is to simply “suck it up” and head into the dentist’s office with their heads held high. But for some, that’s not a feasible option nor is it a safe or recommended one. To help with this, many dental offices, ours included, offers something called sedation dentistry to patients looking for a way to go to the dentist without fear or pain.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

In this type of dentistry, a dental professional will administer a type of anesthesia prior to a procedure that can render a patient calm or completely unconscious, depending on the type and level of gas. Options include nitrous oxide which relaxes you but keeps you awake, oral sedatives that are taken an hour prior to procedure that relax you without knocking you out, and intravenous sedatives that but you into controlled stages of unconsciousness which could range from “twilight sleep” to complete unconsciousness.

How Does This Work?

That depends on your needs and what your dentist recommends is the best course of action. If you’re utilizing nitrous oxide, no prep is required and in many cases you can drive yourself how after a period of rest. This is administered by breathing in a gas. More invasive sedatives, like intravenous administration, may require fasting before hand and for you to abstain from certain medications. Once you reach the desired stage of relaxation or unconsciousness, your dentist will perform the procedure.

Who is Sedation Dentistry For?

There’s a variety of reasons that sedation might be utilized during a dental procedure. Those who have a debilitating anxiety or phobia around the dentist may need to be relaxed or completely knocked out during a visit for their own safety. Others may need sedation dentistry because the procedure they’re receiving is painful and local anesthetic won’t be enough. Other reasons include those with sensitive oral nerves or those with some allergies or aversion to local anesthetic.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right For Me?

That’s a decision for you and your dentist. At Arbor Dental, offer sedation dentistry procedures for implants, removals, wisdom teeth procedures, and more. We offer it to be administered through gas or through intravenous methods and also offer a range of unconsciousness levels including twilight sleep and fully unconsciousness. The best way for you to get information is to contact us and have a conversation with one of our dental professionals about your needs, medical history, and what you’re looking for during an appointment.