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Why Sedation Dentistry Works

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Fear of the dentist is quite common. But you don't need to avoid cleanings or suffer in pain with sedation dentistry. Although many dentists can provide sedation for procedures, sedation dentistry is a different type of experience. The goal is to make you comfortable during your dentist visit. Here are a few ways sedation dentistry can change your dentist experience:

Calming atmosphere

There are many tiers of sedation techniques used by these special dentists. It's a common misconception that you'll need to go under general anesthesia during your visit. You have the opportunity to be given multiple different sedation medicines. The effects range from simply calming down the patient to a light sleep feeling. You should discuss the process with your doctor before being sedated. A few options may include:

  • Laughing gas - This is typically administered by inhaling the gas through a mask. It helps you relax, but it may not be ideal for all dental procedures.
  • Oral medication - You'll receive a liquid or pill form of a sedative. These typically take a little while to kick in. So expect some extra time at the office.
  • IV sedation - You'll receive a constant drip of sedatives, and you may be unconscious during your procedure.

Of course, general anesthesia is also an option for dentistry. If you're having a particularly complicated or long procedure, you may want to discuss general anesthesia with your dentist.

Removal of fear

Once you've been given sedatives, you'll still be conscious but calm. This provides you with an opportunity to ask your dentist questions, learn about your procedure, and be more prepared for future visits. Dentists don't want you to fear them. They want you to be active participants in your oral health.

Certified and trained

The American Dental Association (ADA) has strict rules about dental sedation. Your dentist must obey all the laws and requirements for their state of practice. But laws do vary from state to state. If you have questions, you can ask your dentist or check out the ADA website.

Sedation Dentistry is Safe and painless

Many people shy away from painkillers and sedatives, but there is no shame in making your dental experience less stressful. By working with a board certified dentist who has good ratings, you can put your mind at ease. Because you'll feel more comfortable, you'll be able to visit the dentist more often. Regular cleanings and exams are an important part of keeping your mouth healthy.

When done by an expert, sedation is a great way to have a good experience. It's important that you disclose any and all medications and drugs to your dental hygienist and dentist. Because certain substances can cause reactions, it's always best to be completely honest when filling out any forms before sedation. Other things to keep in mind include having someone with you to drive home or calling a cab. Some sedation medications can have a lingering effect. If you're concerned at all with the sedation method being used, speak up. You have a right to know everything about your dental care.

Christopher is an author, blogger, and musician from Wichita, Kansas who has been fearful of visits with a dentist most of his life until he discovered sedation dentistry.

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