What Is Sedation Dentistry?

It’s astounding how many people absolutely dread going to the dentist, even more than the doctor. There is a perception that going to the dentist is going to hurt, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Your dentist is there to help keep your mouth healthy and help you to avoid pain. In most cases, the discomfort you’ll feel in the dentist’s chair will be minimal, but for those who are still afraid, there is another option available: sedation dentistry.

What is dental sedation? How does it work? Can it really make your visit to the dentist less stressful and less painful? Many people have heard of this process through TV commercials but aren’t really familiar with the procedure itself. Let’s take a look at what sedation dentistry is, how it works, and how it can change the way you view sitting in the dentist chair.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Marietta Gentle DentistryDental sedation is a form of dental care designed to help keep patients calm and relaxed during dental procedures. It makes use of medication to help you relax. Though sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” this is a technically inaccurate term as, unless you’re under general anesthesia (such as during surgery), you’ll be awake.

There are three general levels of sedation used during this kind of dentistry: minimal sedation just keeps you calm and relaxed, moderate sedation may result in slurred speech and you may not remember parts of the procedure, and deep sedation is sometimes called “twilight sleep.” For deep sedation, you’re on the edge of consciousness, but it’s still possible to wake you up when the session is complete.

What Kinds of Sedatives are Used?

A number of different kinds of sedatives can be used during this kind of dentistry. These include using a nitrous oxide mask, taking oral medication (usually using Halcion), and administering IV drugs. The kind of sedative used will depend on the level of sedation needed.

Am I a Candidate?

People who are not sensitive or allergic to the medication, who suffer from high anxiety about going to the dentist, who have a low threshold for pain or high sensitivity, who need a large amount of work, who have trouble sitting still in the chair, or have a bad gag reflex all might be good candidates for sedation dentistry.

Is It Safe?

Any time sedation or anesthesia is involved, there’s a risk. When administered by an experienced, qualified dentist, however, it’s exceptionally safe. If you have certain risk factors, such as obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, or other issues, you should talk to your dentist first. In fact, before engaging in sedation dentistry, your dentist will go over your medical history with you and discuss any risks that might apply.

Is It Covered?

Whether or not the procedure will be covered under your dental plan depends on the specific insurance you have. Talk with your insurance company to find out. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry in the Marietta area, Dental Paradise has been serving the area for over three decades. Give us a call to schedule an appointment or for more information today!