Will Sedation Dentistry Help Me?


Dental anxiety keeps many patients from seeing the dentist each year -- and while sedation dentistry is popular and widely offered, patients may still find themselves unsure if this is too good to be true or if it will actually make dental visits a more tolerable and less anxious experience.

Sedation dentistry works and is both safe and effective for a range of patients, as there is more than one way to administer medication that creates a relaxing effect. But even the idea of taking sedation medication can make some patients anxious; some ask if they will feel loopy after their procedure or what to expect with their recommended sedation method.

Patients who chose oral conscious sedation – administered through pill-form medication about an hour before their procedure – can expect to experience fuzzy memory and to generally feel groggy. While you are awake and aware, you will feel more at-ease and will find it difficult to remember everything about your visit. Every patient is different and while some are not comforted by the idea of the amnesiac affect that oral conscious sedation can create, others seek out this form of sedation for that reason. Anxious patients can feel comfortable knowing that this medication is not intended to put you to sleep and will not put you under, rather it will create a pleasant feeling of ease and relaxation.

Nitrous oxide is typically the preferred method for patients with more mild dental anxiety, as it creates a lighter level of sedation than the oral conscious method. Nitrous oxide also does not stay in a patient’s system for hours after a procedure, like ingested medication might, making it a better choice for short procedures or patients who prefer to not have a companion drive them to a from their dental appointment, as would be required with the oral conscious method.

While sedation is typically safe for most patients, it’s a good idea to talk to our dentist and your primary care doctor in case you are worried that any outstanding medical conditions or prescribed medications may make you ineligible for the oral conscious method or change the effect of the sedative.

Dr. Mahdavi is certified in sedation services for patients, having completed training that covers the use of medication for the purposes of dental sedation, the effects the medication may have on patients, and the effective management of any emergencies that may occur with the use of this treatment. If you have questions about how sedation works or if it will make your dental visits more comfortable, please call our office to speak to a member of our team.

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