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Safe and Effective Sedation Dentistry for Dental Fear and Anxiety

Sedation dentistry refers to the process of establishing a relaxed, anxiety free state during a dental treatment through the use of sedatives, and is an ideal solution for patients with dental fear or extensive treatments that would otherwise require multiple appointments. Different sedatives vary in degrees of relaxation. Conscious sedation involves administering a sedative, such as nitrous oxide or light oral sedation, while the patient is alert and awake to reach a state of light relaxation.

For severe cases of dental fear, it’s possible for a patient to undergo a major dental procedure and remember very little of it with the help of an anesthesiologist. The type of sedative a patient can receive will depend on the anesthesiologist’s discretion, the patient’s degree of anxiety and the extent of the procedure.

Sedation allows dentists to create a state of relaxation and manage the fear and pain patients may experience during dental procedures. Some of the different types of sedation dentistry include:

  • Local anesthesia – administered by injecting medication into tissue or by applying a medication topically to an area to eliminate sensation.
  • Minimal sedation – used most frequently in dentistry and usually involves taking medications orally. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on his or her own. The patient may respond normally to verbal commands and may experience some degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment. Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” may be used to achieve minimal sedation and in combination with a recommended dosage of oral medication.
  • Moderate sedation – achieved by using medications that can be taken orally or intravenously. Patients who undergo moderate sedation are awake and respond to touch and/or verbal commands. All bodily functions remain normal, and the patient does not need assistance breathing.
  • Deep sedation – can be achieved by injecting medication, giving oral medications, and in combination with gases. Patients who are deeply sedated are not easily woken up, but may respond to some stimulation. Patients may need some breathing assistance at deeper levels.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry for Dental Fear

Our Florence, AL patients suffering from dental fear are often hesitant to undergo long or complex dental procedures, as they aren’t sure whether they can withstand long periods of time in the dental chair. With sedation dentistry, however, patients can endure the smile makeover they’ve always wanted. This is due in part to the fact that sedatives make long procedures seem like only a few minutes, leaving the patient in a relaxed, and anxiety-free state while the dentist is free to perform the procedure with ease. Appointments that would generally require multiple visits can often be performed in just one due to the patients increased cooperation.

And since sedation dentistry helps many of our Florence, AL patients with anxiety and dental fears, patients are more likely to go to visit us for routine care and other treatments once they understand the ease in which a treatment can be performed under the use of sedatives.