Sedation Dentistry: What It Is & What To Expect
Did you know 36 percent of Americans experience dentophobia? Yes, it’s real, and depending
on the severity of this fear, it can lead people to skip dental checkups or needed procedures.
Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, sometimes known as sleep dentistry, uses medication to help ease dental
fear and anxiety in patients. A variety of options enable patients to sit more comfortably in the
dental chair while having work done to maintain or improve their oral health.
When Is Sedation Necessary?
If a patient is anxious or fearful about dental work or needles, they might benefit from sedation
dentistry. It’s also a great option for patients who experience extreme tooth sensitivity.
Sedation is helpful for several dental procedures as well, including tooth extractions and root
canals. Root canal sedation helps patients experience a pain free procedure.
Parents might find that sedation is helpful for their children. Young children can be fearful of
dental work or find it difficult to sit still for a procedure. Pediatric sedation dentistry often is used
to help children calm down and sit safely for the dentist.
How Does It Work?
There are different methods and levels of sedation dentistry available depending on the patient
and their needs.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes known as laughing gas, can be offered for mild sedation. A patient
must inhale this type of sedation through a small mask. Once administered, nitrous oxide can
help a patient feel more relaxed and comfortable.
For faster and slightly stronger results, you might opt for IV sedation dentistry. Through the IV,
the dentist can adjust the medication as needed. This will not put a patient to sleep, but will
allow them to relax and ignore their surroundings.
Sedation is provided before a procedure to help a patient relax. When you know you will receive
medication for sedation, be sure to have a trusted family member or friend at the appointment to
drive you home.
It’s also important to discuss any possible allergies that might cause you to negatively react to
medication. Allergies might prevent a patient from receiving sedation.
Finding the Right Dental Office
Sedation dentistry can be a great option for you or your child if you need help relaxing during
It’s important to find a dental office that can help. Contact Tosto DDS to learn more and hear
how we can support you on your dental journey.