Visiting a dentist regularly is essential for your oral health, but not everyone feels relaxed in the dentist’s chair. For some, it may be the noise of the drill or the bright overhead lights that trigger dental anxieties. Unfortunately, dental anxieties may stop certain patients from scheduling dentist visits.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable in the dentist’s chair, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your dentist. You might be surprised to learn that sedation dentistry may be appropriate for you.
Reasons to choose sedation dentistry
Sedation is often a good choice for patients who are undergoing gum grafting, dental implant placement, and other oral surgeries. Sedation can help patients stay relaxed and calm during these procedures, particularly when dental anxieties are an issue. But there are many other good reasons to consider dental sedation. Even if you feel comfortable having dental work done, you might prefer to be lightly sedated during long procedures. In some cases, sedation can help you get extensive work done in one treatment session, without having to go back for multiple appointments.
A cosmetic dentist will use sedatives in addition to a local anesthetic. Although sedatives aren’t technically pain relievers and are not intended to take the place of anesthetics, sedatives can indeed help make dental treatments pain-free. Sedatives are particularly helpful for those who have extremely sensitive teeth and those who have trouble getting the tissues completely numb. Some people also choose sedatives because they have a strong gag reflex.
Are you a good candidate for dental sedation?
Dental sedation is appropriate in many cases, but it’s important to fully disclose your medical history to your dentist. Your dentist may make sedation recommendations based on whether you have heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, sleep apnea, respiratory illnesses, or other chronic medical conditions. Be sure to discuss your medications, and disclose whether you’re pregnant, could be pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Choosing your ideal level of sedation
Another benefit of choosing dental sedation is that it’s customizable to suit your needs, preferences, and underlying medical conditions. Aside from general anesthesia, which is rarely used for dentistry, there are three primary levels of dental sedation.
- Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas. This is the lightest available level of sedation that lightly relaxes patients. Patients can drive themselves home once the effects are gone.
- Conscious oral sedation: A moderate level of sedation that requires the patient to take a pill before the appointment. Patients will be deeply relaxed, and will require someone to drive them to and from the appointment.
- Intravenous sedation: The dentist can insert an IV line to administer a stronger sedative. Patients often fall asleep with this level of sedation. Transportation by a responsible adult is required.
Getting dental work done comfortably on Long Island
Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, your comfort is one of our top priorities. We’re pleased to offer nitrous oxide, conscious oral sedation, and intravenous sedation to suit the needs of our patients. In addition to our general dentistry services, Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot are leading providers of cosmetic dentistry services, including dental implants and gum grafting. If you’re looking for exceptional dentistry care within a stress-free setting, call our Suffolk County office today.
Additional dental sedation resources
- WebMD, Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist’s Chair? http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/sedation-dentistry-can-you-really-relax-in-the-dentists-chair#1
- American Dental Association, Guidelines for the Use of Sedation and General Anesthesia by Dentists, https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Education%20and%20Careers/Files/anesthesia_use_guidelines.pdf?la=en