What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Fear of the dentist is an extremely common reason people put off seeing a dentist for necessary treatments. People who already have anxiety or reservations about a regular dental treatment tend to struggle with the concept of getting larger treatments done. When a dental treatment plan requires restorative work or invasive treatments, it might be difficult to find the nerve to make the appointment. But that should never be a barrier from getting the treatments you need. The longer a dental issue persists the worse it can get. Early intervention is the best solution for not just your oral health but your overall health. One way that dentists have addressed these concerns is with sedation dentistry. There are many different methods of sedation dentistry, and not every dentist provides this service. 

Because sedation dentistry isn’t technically “necessary” and rather a method for improving patient comfort, it is important to find a dentist that provides it and understand how it works. Here at Varinos Dental Associates in Peabody, Winthrop, and Newburyport we provide sedation dentistry alongside our more in-depth procedures. If you live in the area and are interested in learning how sedation dentistry could be used for your specific case, please contact us to schedule a consultation. Otherwise, continue reading to learn more about sedation dentistry. 

When is Sedation Dentistry Used?

Sedation dentistry is not medically necessary. As such, many dentists do not actually provide this dental service. The reasons patients request sedation dentistry are usually in relation to their own comfort during a procedure. Patients who have fears/anxieties, tooth sensitivity, decreased sensitivity to local anesthesia, or similar concerns often request this service. Sedation dentistry is often used for patients who are receiving deep cleanings or invasive procedures. 

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

Different practices use different methods for sedation dentistry. These different methods of reflect different needs. Some common factors for how sedation dentistry is administered can include what methods a specific dentist has available as well as what a patient prefers/needs to feel comfortable during their dental treatment. Here are a few of the most common methods for sedation: 

  • Oral Conscious Sedation: An oral medication usually as a pill can be taken an hour before your procedure begins. The sedation method tends to make patients feel groggy and in some cases they might even fall asleep. That said, patients are usually awake during their treatment albeit feeling relaxed and tired. 
  • Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is often referred to as “laughing gas” and has been used for decades to help patients feel more comfortable during their dental treatments. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a mask or nosepiece and your dentist can increase or decrease the dosage during your treatment. Nitrous oxide creates a calming effect. After the treatment your dentist will usually provide pure oxygen to quickly flush our your system. 
  • IV Sedation: Intravenous sedation involves putting sedation medications directly into your bloodstream through the use of an IV. IV treatments are frequently used by hospitals and other medical facilities to help patients who are going through a longer procedure. 

What Happens During Sedation Dentistry?

Before receiving your treatment you will discuss your sedation options with your dentist. Before getting sedated you will need to go over your health history and any known medical conditions or current medications that might make an impact on how your body responds to sedation. Your dentist might also recommend that you stop taking blood thinners prior to your treatment. 

During your procedure you will be sedated using the method your dentist recommends. Local anesthesia will likely still be used to numb your teeth and gums before the treatment. While you are sedated your dentist will provide the dental treatment you need. 

After the treatment you will need a friend of family member to give you a ride back home. Make sure to get all of your dental post-care information from the dentist written down so that you can refer to it later. Otherwise you can always call the dental office if you have questions. 

Schedule Dental Appointments in Massachusetts

If you live in Peabody, Newburyport or Winthrop and are interested in setting up a dental consultation for sedation dentistry, restorative dentistry, or other dental services, please contact our team. For more information about our services please click here

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