In sedation dentistry, your dentist uses medication, laughing gas, and other methods to help you better relax through the dental care process. It’s sometimes known as “sleep dentistry,” but this often leads to misconception — as you can be completely awake throughout the process. You aren’t necessarily knocked out as you would be for a surgical operation. Unless you are put under general anesthesia, patients are usually awake.
Levels of sedation can vary according to your preference and why you or your dentist preferred sedation dentistry.
- You can be minimally sedated, meaning you are awake but relaxed.
- You can be moderately sedated, perhaps slurring your words with little to no memory of the procedure itself.
- You can be deeply sedated — barely on the edge of consciousness but easily awakened.
- You can be under general anesthesia — completely unconscious, as you would for most surgical procedures.
The choice is up to you — talk it over with your family dentist. But there are surprising benefits — why some of our patients prefer sedation dentistry as an option. Here are 6 reasons to consider this form of dental treatment.
1. Speed Up Dental Care
A surprisingly sizable percentage of the time you spend in a dental chair is spent on ensuring your comfort — helping you relax or manage anxiety. And then there’s all the time spent telling you to open wider — not to mention necessary breaks from keeping your mouth open so wide. With sedation dentistry, all this effort is minimized or bypassed. Your dentist can get right to work — which means you spend less time in the chair.
2. Fewer Dental Trips
The reason many dental procedures require so many visits to our Cincinnati office isn’t us — it’s you. And that’s okay. Because while dental care is vital, let’s be real — it’s no picnic. It’s understandable your mouth gets tired. But with sedation dentistry, we can often do the whole treatment in one setting. That’s why it’s a great option for patients on a busy schedule.
3. You Won’t Gag
Some patients have a high gag reflex. That’s your body’s innate defense mechanism. You can’t help it. And let’s not forget we’re cramming what’s essentially the size of a tennis ball down your open mouth. Unfortunately, gagging can make dental work significantly more uncomfortable. Even the mildest forms of sedation dentistry can suppress the gag reflex. That way we can get down to business — and you’ll be more comfortable.
4. A Game Changer for Fidgeters or the Disabled
If you have difficulty sitting still, sedation dentistry will help you relax — even in its mildest forms. It also makes it much easier to treat disabled people.
5. For Nervous Patients, Dentistry is a Breeze
Nearly half of all people suffer from dental anxiety. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. And sadly, fear keeps many people from sitting down in our dental chairs in the first place. But even mild forms of sedation dentistry will help you relax and significantly improve the experience. In fact, if you choose a moderate form for the procedure, you might barely remember it — like a dream or your partner tucking a pillow under your head after you’ve fallen asleep on the couch watching Netflix.
Talk to Your Family Dentist
If you have dental anxiety, just want to get the procedure over, or have difficult dental experiences due to a gag reflex or fidgeting, talk to one of our dentists about sedation dentistry options. At our Cincinnati dental clinic, we are committed to gentle dentistry. Your comfort is always our highest priority and concern.