Everything You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a therapeutic medical procedure where dentists administer different sedative levels to help their patients relax.

Do you suffer from dental fear or anxiety? Or maybe you can’t stand dental clinic sounds? If so, you’re not alone; there are thousands of people like you. Lucky for you, sedation dentistry exists. Please keep reading to find out how sedation dentistry is helping patients feel relaxed and less anxious during their dental procedures.

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What is Sedation Dentistry

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a therapeutic medical procedure where dentists administer different sedative levels to help their patients relax. The patients are usually sedated before a dental treatment or surgery to relieve pain and anxiety during the dental procedure.

Before sedating you, the dentist will check your medical background and consult widely to avoid health complications. This technique is suitable for patients who suffer moderate and severe dental anxiety. It’s also helpful for patients with special medical needs such as light and sound sensitivity.

Sedation Methods

Below are the different ways dentists sedate their patients:

Light Sedation/ Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is used to help patients relax during simple dental procedures. The gas goes through a nasal rod that patients use to inhale. It takes seconds for the gas to kick in.

You’ll be awake during the entire procedure but in a relaxed state. The best thing about laughing gas is that it has no post-treatment side effects.

Oral Sedatives/ Moderate Sedation

During oral sedation, you consume a prescribed pill or syrup a few hours before the dental procedure. This gives the medicine enough time to take effect. Once the sedatives are in action, you’ll feel drowsy and may even fall asleep during the dental treatment. However, you’ll still be conscious and may wake up with a slight nudge.

Because the sedatives can leave you with a drowsy feeling, oral sedation patients are usually advised to come accompanied by a friend or relative during their appointments.

IV Sedation

In IV sedation, the dentist administers the sedative through an IV line hooked to a vein in your arm. IV patients often fall into a deep sleep during a dental procedure, and it may take a while before they regain full consciousness. Like in moderate sedation, it’s advisable to bring a close friend or relative during an IV sedation to take you back home.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

The benefits of sedation dentistry include:

  • Stress and anxiety-free dental experiences
  • Extra comfort for light and sound sensitive people
  • Quicker and painless dental procedures
  • Appropriate for people of all ages

How to Select the Right Sedation Dentist for Your Procedure

Sedation dentistry is an excellent way to have lengthy procedures done without the pain and anxiety that can sometimes accompany them. It can also help to reduce the number of appointments you need to have the work done and allows you to save money if you can have it done in fewer sessions. When most people hear the word “sedation,” they think of highly risky and invasive methods, but there are many options for dental sedation that are completely safe and can really help to alleviate any negative feelings that can come with dental work.

How to Choose the Right Sedation Dentist

Since you and your dentist will be discussing what sedation options are available and coming up with a plan, finding the right dentist is imperative to feel comfortable and making the right decision for your individual needs. There are going to be many factors to help you decide which sedation dentist is right for you. Among them are:

  • Education level – Before you find the right dentist, it is important to know what their education level is and where they were trained. There are very few schools for dental sedation, but there are continuing education programs that dentists can engage in to be certified to administer sedation methods. If you are dealing with IV sedation, then the dentist must be trained in anesthesia, which requires that they have a postgraduate degree.
  • Ongoing education – Try to choose a dentist who regularly keeps up with training and industry changes. Since techniques continually evolve and become perfected, you will want to find someone who is well-trained by the American Society of Dental Anesthesiologists or the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. Before choosing your sedation dentist, look for someone who continually goes through training and education programs to stay current.
  • Your own medical needs – If you have pre-existing conditions or take any medications, you will want to find a doctor who knows the complexity of mixing medicines to ensure that they understand the risks and can anticipate any potential problems that could arise due to your special needs. When interviewing sedation dentists, make them aware of any conditions that you have to ensure that they know how to manage them and are comfortable treating you in spite of them.

St. Louis Dental Anesthesia

Dr. Michael Hoffmann and Dr. Sean Thoms are general dentists, board-certified in general anesthesia and deep sedation by the Missouri Dental Board. Both are currently the only two Dental Anesthesiologist board certified in Deep Sedation in the state of Missouri.

Now that you know all about the advantages of sedation dentistry how to select the right sedation dentist for your procedure, it’s time to schedule your dental checkup. Be sure to work with dentists who offer quality dental care in a safe and comfortable setting. To get the best dental care in St. Louis, Missouri, contact The Dental Anesthesia Center today!

Call Us Today

The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844
Updated: January 30, 2024

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