What is Oral Sedation Dentistry?

Are you afraid of visiting the dentist? If you are one of the 30 to 40 million people with a fear of visiting the dentist, take heed! We provide sedation dentistry services to all of our Boston patients, and is designed to help you relax while receiving the dental care your teeth and gums need to stay healthy. For people who tend to avoid cleanings and exams, sedation dentistry is designed to help relieve some of the anxiety you can feel. Sedation can be used for general cleanings and examinations up to serious dental procedures such as root canals and tooth extractions. The amount of sedation needed depends on your level of anxiety and fear of visiting the dentist.

Sedation Dentistry in Boston

What is Sedation Dentistry?

What exactly is sedation dentistry? Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help a patient relax during a dental procedure. Sedation will calm the nerves, making some people feel like they want to sleep as they become extremely relaxed. However, sedation does not cause you to fall asleep, it allows a patient to remain awake, but in a relaxed state.

What Types of Sedation are Used?

For routine procedures, we prefer to use inhaled minimal sedation. What this means is a small plastic covering is placed over the nose. The patient will take deep breaths initially and then resume normal breathing as their body begins to relax. The nitrous oxide used is commonly called “laughing gas” as it helps you to relax and may enhance your mood. The dentist is in control of how much sedation is needed during the procedure to ensure you are only given enough to aid in reducing anxiety. Once the procedure is done, the gas is turned off and the effects will wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation that allows a person to resume normal behavior following treatment, such as driving yourself home.

Oral sedation is a little different as it is given through a pill you take before visiting the dentist. With oral sedation, we will provide you with Halcion, which needs to be taken an hour before your appointment. You will not be able to drive while the medication is in your system. Halcion is a member of the Valium drug family and will make you drowsy. If you have extreme anxiety, this medication is one of the preferred method. Some people can fall asleep during dental procedures.

Compared to IV sedation and deep sedation, oral sedation is typically preferred. IV sedation is a drug administered through a vein. If patients in need of IV sedation, the doctor will need to continually adjust to prevent health concerns. Deep sedation and general anesthesia is used for patients that are unable to receive dental procedures while conscious. You will receive medications that will render you totally unconscious. If you need more information about Boston sedation dentistry, give us a call to schedule an appointment.