Sedation Dentistry: Dental Care Without Suffering From Anxiety

A dental patient getting treatment while sedatedMany people are afraid of going to the dentist, choosing to delay their suffering until it gets to the point that it becomes unbearable.

This habit is definitely not healthy, as it can lead to all sorts of oral problems. Fortunately, there’s now a solution: sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is simply the practice of using anesthesia for putting patients into a sleep-like condition so they won’t be anxious or stressed out by the surgical instruments that are to be used, and to prevent them from making impulsive movements as a result of their anxiety.


There are many ways of using sedation in dentistry, the most common of which is called oral conscious sedation, also known as pain-free dentistry. In this method, the patient takes sedation medication orally a few minutes before the dental procedure begins. Once the medication has taken effect and the patient begins to feel numbness in the mouth area, the dental procedure can begin.

Another common type of sedation method used in dental procedures is the inhalation of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). The nitrous oxide puts the patient in a sleep-like state, just like in the first method, and he or she is conscious during the entire procedure without feeling any pain in his mouth.

For very severe cases of dental anxiety, as well as for dental procedures that take a long time to finish, intravenous sedation may be recommended by the dentist. In this method, the anesthesia is applied intravenously and the patient becomes more subdued. Some patients even drift in and out of consciousness during the procedure.

Determining which type of sedation is to be used is largely the responsibility of the dentist, although in some cases, patients may be given an option of choosing which method they prefer. Also, sedation may also be used even though the procedure is quite simple and can be done quickly, if the patient requests for it, knowing that it will help him or her through the experience without going through an anxiety attack.

Just a couple of decades ago, the use of sedation dentistry was quite controversial because of the possibility of all sorts of side effects but today, thanks to modern techniques and new medical improvements, sedation dentistry is considered to be a completely safe procedure.

For more information about how to remove stress and anxiety from your dental care please call our Syosset dental office at (516) 348-8500.

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