​Sedation Dentistry: The Best Sleep You’ll Get All Week​

​Sedation Dentistry: The Best Sleep You'll Get All Week​

Being nervous or uncomfortable about going to the dentist is a very real thing! In fact, eight percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear according to WebMD. For others, it’s not fear that stops them from going to the dentist, it’s sensitive teeth. A recent study of 787 people concluded that 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth.

One of the ways dentists help patients cope with these situations is sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry will change your dental appointments from dreaded torture sessions to a scheduled nap! Who doesn’t want that? It’s the best sleep you’ll get all week!

Methods of Sedation

There are various levels of sedation as well as various methods for receiving the sedative. The most common options are nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), oral sedation (taking a pill) and IV sedation. The type of sedation administered depends on the patient’s needs in terms of comfort as well as any other health conditions they may have.

Candidates for Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is available for anyone who needs help being comfortable at the dentist but it can be especially useful for those with certain disabilities or medical conditions including autism, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease or ADHD. And with some research and paperwork, some insurance companies may even cover the cost of sedation for these individuals.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

  • Sedation helps patients feel comfortable and at ease.
  • Sedation dentistry makes it easier for patients to keep their regularly scheduled appointments, which results in healthier teeth.
  • It’s easier for the dentist to do their job when the patient is relaxed. Patients who are anxious often have tense muscles that are hard to work with.
  • When sedated, the time will fly by! A patient might be in the dentist’s chair for hours undergoing an extensive procedure but it will only feel like minutes.
  • Sedatives also have analgesic properties that can elevate the patient’s pain threshold.
  • Most forms of sedation dentistry have minimal side effects. Nitrous oxide wears off within minutes and deeper sedation usually wears off within hours.
  • IV sedation can help those who have a strong gag reflex relax.

Sedation Dentistry Certification

The majority of dentists can offer nitrous oxide and medication to sedate patients, but a smaller percentage of dentists are certified to offer deep sedation and general anesthesia. This certification comes from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). And each individual state dental board has rules and regulations about sedation dentistry techniques.

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