3 Myths About Being Sedated at the Dentist

inhalation sedation at dental clinic

For those who tremble at the thought of going to the dentist, but who require a dental procedure, one option for easing their worry is sedation. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at LI Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry would like to share some common concerns that patients have expressed about sedation dentistry:

  •  “I don’t want to be put to sleep.”
  • “Being sedated is not so safe.”
  • “Only people afraid of pain need to be sedated.”

Are these concerns warranted, or only myth? Let’s find out!

Myth #1: Getting sedated at the dentist’s office means you are going to sleep.

Sedation dentistry is not the same as general anesthesiology. Instead, when a patient is sedated at the dentist they remain awake and conscious throughout the procedure. Patients lose feeling in the area the dentist is working on, which allows them to relax and experience minimal to no discomfort.

Myth 2: Sedation is unsafe.

Prior to undergoing any type of sedation, it is important that you speak with both your dentist and doctor to see if you are a suitable candidate. There are multiple types of sedation, so chances are at least one of them will be safe for you. For instance, sedation via nitrous oxide is safe for most patients, whereas IV sedation may be an issue if you are pregnant. To avoid any types of complications and make sure you find which type of sedation is appropriate for you, be sure to be transparent about your medical history prior to any dental work.

Myth 3: Sedation is only for those afraid of pain.

Sedation dentistry is not only a good fit for those wary of the pain a dental procedure might bring, but also for individuals with strong gag reflexes, patients undergoing a long and uncomfortable procedure, and even those who are just feeling overly anxious.

One other big misconception around sedation dentistry is the belief that there is only one type of sedation patients can get. There are actually three different types: nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation.

Types of Sedation

Nitrous oxide is also known as “laughing gas”. While undergoing nitrous oxide, patients wear a small mask that administers a nitrous oxide gas, alternating with 100% oxygen. This form of sedation is most popular amongst patients; it reduces gag reflexes and saliva flow.

Oral Sedation is a pill taken by mouth that causes patients to be completely relaxed and comfortable yet awake. Patients often feel that the procedure they are undergoing finishes in the blink of an eye because of how comfortable and at ease they feel.

IV Sedation is administered by a thin needle that is inserted into a vein by an anesthesiologist. The needle is connected to an IV drip containing anti-anxiety medication that puts patients into a deep state of relaxation. It is common for patients to feel a bit confused after coming out of this type of sedation, however they do remain conscious and awake throughout.

Sedation dentistry options on Long Island

For more information about what type of dental sedation is right for you, be sure to give us a call today. We will assist you with making the right choice for feeling the utmost comfort during all your visits to Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry.

Additional “Dental Sedation” Resources:

  1. American Dental Association, Nitrous Oxide, http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/n/nitrous-oxide
  2. Mouth Healthy, Anesthesia and Sedation for Your Child: Questions to Ask Your Dentist, http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/a/anesthesia-and-sedation-for-your-child

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Sarah Klein

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