Sedation Dentistry

Who should use sedation dentistry?

It is no secret that most of us do not like going to the dentist. In fact, many people go years without even a check-up or cleaning. Some reasons for avoiding the dentist include:

  • Fear of needles, drills, or other dental instruments
  • Past traumatic dental experiences
  • Sensitive teeth and/or difficulty getting numb
  • Discomfort with the smells, noises, and tastes that accompany dental work

Fortunately, in this day and age these issues are no longer a reason to avoid the dentist. With sedation dentistry, patients are able to have a comfortable, anxiety-free experience while having their dental work performed.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry has been around for over 100 years, and has continued to evolve over the last 40 years as more options are made available to patients. In order to perform sedation, dentists are required to become accredited and complete additional training. However, its widespread acceptance and use has come about more slowly than medical sedation.

While it is common practice to be sedated by doctors for medical procedures, there has been the misconception that routine dental work is not uncomfortable enough to justify sedation. Fortunately, dental sedation has proven to be a safe and effective option for a variety of patients and procedures.

Depending on the extent of the work being done and the needs of the individual patient, we offer three different methods of sedation:

  1. Oral Sedation (pill) ~ This is the lowest level of sedation we administer, usually for patients who are afraid of getting a shot, or are just anxious about having dental work done. Usually one pill is taken the night before to help the patient sleep, then another an hour prior to the dental appointment.
  2. Intravenous Conscious Sedation (IV) ~ This type of sedation is ideal for patients with extreme anxiety when it comes to dental procedures, or for those who are having complex dental work that takes a longer period of time to complete. Although the patient is conscious, he or she remembers virtually nothing about the dental work being performed.

What to Expect

With conscious sedation, most patients describe feeling as though they have “slept” through the appointment. The oral sedatives have a similar effect, depending on the type of pill and dosage. Both sedation methods will allow you to communicate with your dentist during the procedure. Throughout the appointment, your doctor will closely monitor your vital signs and overall comfort level.

If you are sedated you will need someone to bring you to our office on the day of your appointment and home afterward.

How do I know if sedation is right for me?

Talking with your dentist is the first step in deciding if sedation dentistry is for you. Whether you are afraid of needles, have trouble getting numb, or are simply anxious when it comes to dental work, you and your dentist can discuss your individual case and options.

Do you live in or around Boston? There is no reason to put off your dental work - all it takes is a phone call to get the dental care you need. Call us today.

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