Sedation Dentistry: A Comprehensive Guide

Sedation Dentistry: A Comprehensive Guide
Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman


Are you one of 40 million Americans who do not like going to the dentist or avoid dental treatments due to dental anxiety or fear? Sedation dentistry may help you overcome your anxiety and make your dental visit experience more relaxing. There are many sedation methods available to help you feel relaxed and comfortable during the dental procedure.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medications to help patients relax during dental procedures. People who fear dental procedures prefer this type of dentistry. Various levels of sedation are used depending on the degree of patients’ fear, which includes:

  • Minimal Sedation – Helps you relax without losing your consciousness
  • Moderate Sedation – You may speak unclearly and not recall much of the procedure
  • Deep Sedation – Makes you slightly  unconscious but you can still respond to oral commands

What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?

Here are some common types of sedation used in dentistry:

Oral Sedation

It varies from minimal to moderate, depending on the total dose given. For minimal sedation, you are given a pill 60 minutes before the dental procedure. The pill makes you drowsy but keeps you awake. A larger dose is used for moderate sedation. Moderate sedation makes patients fall asleep, but they can be awakened with a gentle shake.

Inhaled Minimal (Nitrous Oxide) Sedation

You will inhale nitrous oxide (laughing gas) via a mask placed on your nose. Your dentist will monitor and control the amount of sedation you receive. The gas helps you relax and wears off quickly. This is the only sedation that allows you to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Intravenous Sedation

You will receive the sedation through your vein so that it can work effectively and quickly. This sedation allows your dentist to control and adjust the level of sedation continuously. Regardless of the type of sedation used, your dentist will apply a numbing medication on the area being treated to reduce pain.

Are You a Candidate for Sedation?

Your overall health, including mental and physical conditions, should be taken into consideration before undergoing sedation dentistry. Conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, and hypertension may require medical clearance from your physician. Also, your dentist will take a medical test to make sure you have no health problems that may cause complications after being given anesthesia.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

The process depends on the type of sedation you receive. For oral sedation, your dentist will give you instructions on how to take it. You do not have to prepare for inhaled minimal sedation. Your dentist will supply nitrous oxide before, during, and after the procedure. However, if you are about to take IV sedation, you have to prepare yourself before receiving the sedation. You should not eat and drink anything for several hours before the procedure. Also, you should avoid taking certain medications a day before the procedure because they may react with the sedation drug and result in complications.

If you want to know more about sedation dentistry, call us today or visit our dental office in Des Moines, Iowa. 

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Smiles On Hickman

Smiles On Hickman

Smiles on Hickman is a family dental practice located in Des Moines, IA. We are committed to providing the best, personalized dental care solutions to patients and their families. Our well-trained and experienced team of dentist in Des Moines,IA ensures that our patients feel comfortable during their visit with us. We use advanced dental techniques that enable us to provide quality care in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, sedation dentistry, oral surgery, and more. We strive to form long-lasting bonds with all our patients and offer them a lifetime of healthy smiles.