Do you have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist or undergo a dental procedure? Do you have trouble sitting still for long periods of time in a dentist chair? Have you had resistance to getting, and staying numb, through traditional anesthetics?

dental phobia - woman afraid of dental procedure

If you answered yes to one or more of these, then sedation for dental work may be for you.

Fear of the dentist is very common and can be hard to deal with. People with dental phobia often avoid the dentist and neglect oral health. Sedation dentistry helps fearful patients relax during cleanings and dental procedures.

According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle, between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid dental visits out of fear.

7 Ways Dental Sedation Helps

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures.

sedation dentistry - sedated patient undergoing dental procedure

  1. Anxiety Relief: Using sedation for dental work relaxes and puts you into a “semi-awake” state, taking the edge off their anxiety while still enabling you to respond to verbal commands.
  2. Minimizing Gag Reflexes: With dental sedation, the muscles in the mouth and throat are more relaxed which decrease the likelihood of you experiencing a gag reaction.
  3. Won’t Feel Any Pain or Discomfort: When you undergo sedation dentistry, you experience much less, or no discomfort. Sedation dentistry will help you get your gorgeous smile in a calm and relaxed procedure. This can make a five-hour appointment feel like it took less than five minutes.
  4. Avoid a Traumatic Dental Experience: Sedation calms your fears and reduces apprehensions. This may be the best course of treatment if you are anxious and fearful of dental care.
  5. Can Perform Multiple Procedures: If you need extensive dental care, you can receive your treatments in fewer visits. Dental sedation eliminates the fatigue from a long dental session and keeps you calm and comfortable.
  6. Procedure Will Go Much More Quickly: With sedation dentistry, your dentist can work much more quickly. Patients won’t need breaks and to move around. There will be no gag reflexes to wait for or calming needed for people with dental fear.
  7. Little Memory of the Procedure: The treatment relaxes our patients, often to the point of deep relaxation through the entire process, cutting out anxiety and worry, and leaving little memory of the procedure at all.

Types of Dental Sedation

Inhaled Sedation

Inhaled Sedation

This is a minimal sedation procedure where you breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” combined with Oxygen. The gas helps you relax. This is a conscious sedation method that is fast-acting and with few side effects. A local anesthetic is administered in combination with inhalation sedation to eliminate pain.

Oral Sedation

This is a minimal to moderate type of dental sedation. Oral sedative tranquilizers are given prior to the dental procedure to produce a very relaxed state. This may be used in combination with inhalation sedation depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedation does provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic is administered in combination.

IV Sedation

This is a moderate type of sedation. IV stands for intravenous where the sedation medication is delivered through a small needle that is placed on the back of your hand or on your inner elbow. IV sedation dentistry is often preferred because of its rapid effects. Just like other types of sedation dentistry, IV sedation is conscious dental sedation that acts to calm and relax you. Oral sedation and inhalation sedation can be used in combination with IV sedation dentistry.

Fear is a strong emotion – one that often keeps us from doing something even though it may be in our best interest.

Is dental fear or anxiety keeping you from fixing your smile? Do you become anxious at the mere thought of setting foot into a dental office? Millions of people experience some level of fear or anxiety when it comes to dental care – whether they need a simple filling procedure or something major like implant surgery.

Don’t let fear hold you back!

happy dental patient - heart hand sign with dentist

If anxiety and fear are what’s keeping you from relaxing in a dentist’s chair, sedation will make it easier for you. Anxiety and fear for dental procedures are easier to handle if you’re with the right dental team.

Dr. Kidess is a board-certified sedation dentist serving the Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley, and areas. If you want to know which type of dental sedation is best for you, contact Dr. Kidess at (480) 991-2290 to schedule an appointment.