Sedation Dentistry: Does It Really Work?

If the thought of getting a cavity filled at your next dental appointment is causing you to panic, you may want to consider talking to your dentist about sedation dentistry. It is not uncommon for people to fear dental work, but this is not something that should stop you from getting the work that is needed. Through sedation dentistry, you really can relax and make it through a procedure without feeling scared, sick, nervous, or uptight.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry simply refers to extra procedures dentists can do to help people relax before and during dental procedures. There are several levels of sedation available, but most people are able to get through a procedure with minimal sedation, and you could too.

What options are there?

Sedation dentistry is conducted in several different ways, and here are two of the most common forms dentists use today:

  • Nitrous Oxide – This is a gas that you can breathe in before and during dental work. It is completely safe and suitable for people of all ages. When you breathe this in, you will begin to feel relaxed, happy, and calm. It may also cause you to feel tingly or sleepy, but for most people, it is enough to help them comfortably make it through a dental procedure while being awake.
  • Oral sedation – The second most common form of sedation is through oral sedation. To use this, you may have to get pills from the dentist at your initial appointment, because you may have to take them several hours before arriving for your procedure. The pills are typically a form of benzodiazepine, which are known to have calming effects on a person's nervous system. Depending on the medication and dosage amount, the effects you will experience can be mild or moderate. You may feel tired, or you might fall asleep during the procedure.

Your dentist will determine which option to use based on the fears you describe to him or her. If your dentist feels that neither of these options will be strong enough for you, he or she may even recommend IV sedation.

IV sedation can only be used if the dentist is certified in this, and this is the strongest type of sedation available. It will put you to sleep, most likely, and it is typically used only when people cannot tolerate getting dental work done with either of the first two forms of sedation.

Getting dental work completed is very important for the health of your mouth, and dentists would rather perform the work with sedation than to let you skip having the work done because of your fears. Dental sedation can make a huge difference in your experiences with dental work because it really works. For more information, visit or a similar website.