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If the thought of going to the dentist makes your entire body tense with fear, you’re not alone. According to the American Dental Association, almost 22% of people skip their dental appointments because of dental phobia. Thankfully, modern dentistry provides several solutions for finding peace of mind in the dental chair. One of the most effective solutions for easing dental anxiety is sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Sedation is available for everything from invasive procedures to simple dental cleanings. There are multiple options for sedation dentistry, such as a pill, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or IV sedation.
Sedation dentistry has several benefits, including:
- It helps you overcome fear and dental anxiety
- Ease of treatment
- It allows you to rest calmly and quietly during the treatment
- The dentist will be able to work faster and more efficiently, resulting in fewer appointments
Can Any Dentist Perform Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry treatments are given under the guidance of a dentist and staff specifically trained in sedation procedures. Most dentists can administer minimal sedation (such as nitrous oxide or pills and moderate sedation.
Good Candidates for Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Not all patients are good candidates for sedation. To be approved for sedation, our dentists, Dr. Phillip Gould, DMD, and Dr. Terry Willis, DMD, will ask you some questions to make sure you are a good candidate before you can be sedated. You will ask you a few questions about your current health, medical history, and medication use to make sure this is a good choice for you.
Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- Low pain threshold
- Fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- Trouble sitting still
- Bad gag reflex
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
Types of Twilight Sedation
At Trail West Family Dentistry, we provide two types of conscious sedation dentistry, including:
- Minimal Sedation: Inhaled minimal sedation involves using nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, administered via a mask placed over the nose. In addition to some tingling and numbness, nitrous oxide typically evokes an overall feeling of well-being. Dentists use nitrous oxide because the gas tends to wear off quickly and is the only form of conscious sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
- Oral Sedation: Oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate, depending on the total dose given. The sedation is via oral medication, which is usually taken an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, though you’ll still be awake. This is sometimes referred to as twilight sedation. We may give you a larger dose of the medication to produce moderate sedation, making you sleep through the procedure.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
At Trail West Family Dentistry, all of our dentists that offer sedation at any level have undergone rigorous training that exceeds the recommended requirements. We regularly undertake many sedation procedures in our Greenville, SC practice and use high-end modern dental anesthesia equipment for the most thorough sedative administration and patient monitoring possible.
Need Sedation Dentistry in Greenville, SC? Contact Us Today!
If you have been putting off having some much-needed dental work because you’re a little nervous, you are likely a good candidate for sedation dentistry. The highly trained and experienced team at Trail West Family Dentistry is here to provide anxiety-free dental care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!