Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

You may think you can only use sedation if you must be asleep for a procedure. However, there are different levels of sedation for any reason or procedure that you may need. In fact, sedation can help you feel more comfortable during any dental process. 

woman receiving nitrous oxide sedation with mask sedation dentistry dentist in Allentown Pennsylvania

Reasons for Sedation

Sedation dentistry can help your dental procedures run more smoothly. In addition, you will be more comfortable as your dentist does their job. 

Dental Anxiety

A common reason patients desire sedation is fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist. Over a quarter of adults (36%) have some form of dental anxiety. This can range from mild discomfort to an extreme fear. However, you don’t have to suffer through fear or anxiety for your dental appointments. Your dentist can recommend sedation to help you relax. 

Patients who have dental anxiety are less likely to go to the dentist or make their regular appointments. Unfortunately, this means that those patients are at a higher risk of developing more serious dental issues, such as advanced gum disease or tooth decay. 

Sensitive Teeth or Pain

Some patients have incredibly sensitive teeth that make even simple procedures uncomfortable. Therefore, sedation can reduce your pain and help you relax. Not only will this help you feel better, but it will also speed up your procedure. 

Complicated Procedures

There are some dental procedures that work better if you are in a relaxed or sleepy state. For example, a dental surgery runs smoother and with fewer complications if you are asleep. In addition, you don’t have to worry about pain or discomfort since you will not be awake. 

Types of Sedation

Depending on the procedure and reason, your dentist can offer you a few different sedation options. 

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a form of sedation that your dentist can administer in their office. Using a mask or nosepiece, you will inhale the gas. You will begin to feel the effects almost immediately. Unlike other types of sedation, you will be able to drive yourself home after your procedure. This form of sedation allows you to be fully conscious during your appointment. However, you should feel relaxed and at ease. This gas is perfect for patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety. 

Another type of sedation is oral sedation, which is typically a pill. You will take a sedative that will make you drowsy before your appointment. As a result, you will need someone to take you to and from your appointment. Oral sedation can make you relaxed enough to fall asleep during your procedure, but your dental team will be able to wake you easily. 

Finally, IV sedation is helpful for complex procedures or severe dental fear. A qualified professional will give the drug through the vein so that it will work quickly. Typically, you will sleep through your procedure. Also, you will need someone to drive you home.