Dental Tips Blog


Dental Sedation for Children – the Risks vs. the Benefits

Many pediatric dental offices incorporate a few different kinds of sedation into their procedures.

Why? What are the benefits? Is sedation safe for children?

Why Pediatric Dental Sedation?

Children in particular can get very nervous about medical or dental treatment. Sedation helps them relax and feel at ease.

Many adults also feel anxious about dentistry. But they are more capable of controlling their emotions and sitting still. Children, on the other hand, may not fully understand what’s going on nor comprehend the fact that this is for their wellbeing.

Sedation can put kids into a drowsy, sleep-like state so that they sit still long enough to have the necessary treatment completed. This spares them unnecessary discomfort and distress, and keeps them safe throughout the process.

Not all children need dental sedation for routine procedures, however. Very young patients, those in need of complex treatment, or children with special needs are more likely to require it.

Risks of Sedation in Dental Offices

Risks include the patient’s airway being blocked during sedation or slipping into a deeper level of sedation than intended.

Such emergencies can be prevented and averted by a properly qualified and experienced dental team.

You can also make your child’s dental sedation safer by:

  • Disclosing your child’s full medical history to the dentist
  • Complying with the dentist’s instructions
  • Rescheduling the treatment if your child is sick

A caring team will make sure to take every precaution during treatment to ensure your child’s safety.

Talk with your child’s dentist to learn about sedation options and safety measures.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767


Will You Be Unconscious for Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Almost everyone who has to get their wisdom teeth taken out asks: “can I just sleep through my tooth extraction?”

Most likely, you will have sedation for the procedure. While sedation isn’t typical for routine dental work, it is when oral surgery is involved.

You’ll need to talk with your dentist or surgeon about your options beforehand to determine what kind of sedation is right for you.

Benefits of Sedation

Dental procedures such as tooth extractions can cause some people a lot of anxiety. If you’re someone who gets nervous about routine cleanings and fillings, then the idea of having a tooth removed could be too much.

With the help of sedation, you’ll remember little if any of your visit. It will likely feel as if you just slept through the whole thing, anxiety-free.

Dental sedation isn’t just for those with a weak stomach, however. Wisdom tooth extractions tend to be lengthy and more complex than a regular tooth removal, so it’s more comfortable in general to have treatment while sedated.

But the medication doesn’t just knock you out – there are different levels of sedatives available to achieve certain goals.

Kinds of Dental Sedatives and Anesthesia Used

First of all, there’s local anesthesia. This is simply the “numbing” injection that helps you not feel pain in your teeth or gums. You’ll be numb no matter how conscious you are.

Next, there are a few different levels of sedatives. They range from laughing gas to IV sedation to general anesthesia, which truly does make you “sleep” through the entire visit. Most oral surgeons remove wisdom teeth while their patients doze lightly with the help of an oral sedative.

Ask your dentist or oral surgeon for more information on sedation techniques offered.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115


Who Can Benefit from Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is when your dentist prescribes medication to lower your awareness during dental treatment.

It’s not a “routine” treatment, but it is gaining in popularity because of how it’s revolutionized dental care for so many. It’s quite normal for experienced dentists to offer this service.

What Sedation Dentistry Is NOT

Most cases of being sedated don’t involve “passing out.”

General anesthesia is provided in oral surgery facilities for cases where someone has to be “completely under” for a major operation.

But the dental sedation you hear about in regular practices is different.

There’s no need for intubation. The sedative is light enough that you stay alert, only your consciousness is mildly dulled. Sedation also works as a sort of amnesiac – it helps you forget any anxiety or distressing sensations.

How Sedation Can Help Certain People

Sedation dentistry may be given via IV, an oral medication, or an inhaled gas (laughing gas).

Most of the time, sedatives aren’t prescribed for routine dental cleanings, checkups, or x-rays. But that all depends on the patient.

Sedation dentistry works well for:

  • Those with dental fears ranging from mild anxiety to extreme phobia
  • Someone with a history of bad experiences at the dentist’s office
  • Very small and/or sensitive mouths prone to pain or gagging during treatment
  • People who seem immune to traditional anesthetic injections
  • Children who are too nervous to cooperate
  • Patients with disabilities or conditions that prevent them from remaining calm

The bottom line is that dental sedation may be recommended in any case where someone’s condition prevents them from getting the treatment they need.

If you’d like to learn more about how your or a loved one can safely benefit from dental sedation, contact your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699


Fear of the Dentist: Normal…and Curable!

Some people with dental anxiety are willing to live with intense pain, chronic bad breath, and missing teeth rather than see a dentist…simply because they’re that afraid.

Also, there’s often a measure of shame. Some are hesitant to admit that they’re afraid of the dentist and come up with a million excuses to hide the fact; by the time they need to see someone, they’re often too embarrassed about their teeth to let a professional examine them.

Do you suffer from an unspoken fear of the dentist?

You’re Not Alone

Dental fear can range from mild anxiety to phobia. An estimated 9-15% of Americans (up to 40 million) avoid the dentist because of such fear. Understanding how common it is may assure you that it’s normal to be afraid of the dentist.

How to Cure Fear of the Dentist

Consult a mental health professional. This is a practical step to take if you suffer from a serious phobia. Cognitive behavioral therapy or sessions with a counselor can help you learn to look at dental care in a new light.

Try sedation. Medication can help you relax during treatment and forget all about it. When sedation helps you get through one appointment, you’ll feel more optimistic about future trips to the dentist.

Distract yourself during treatment. Close your eyes. Listen to music. Apply essential oil like lavender for soothing aromatherapy. Some dentists even have televisions mounted on the ceiling!

Concentrate on the benefits of treatment. What are your smile goals? How can having healthier teeth improve your health, career, and social life? Motivation to reach your goals can help you rise above a fear of dentistry.

Talk with your dentist. Get to know your dentist as person away from the dental chair. Take the opportunity to express your concerns and learn how they can help you feel more comfortable. Finding an understanding dentist is often the most effective way to conquer your fear.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050


Does Dental Sedation Hurt?

When you think about it, the goal of dental sedation is to alleviate anxiety and dull sensitivity. Choosing sedation helps to relax your mind and allows you to tolerate treatment so that you get the professional care you need. It would be beside the point if the sedation were to cause you discomfort!

Here’s how:

Oral Sedation

Prescription-strength syrups and pills are available from your dentist. You usually take the sedative medication a little while before your appointment and have a friend drive you to the office.

These drugs will put you in a relaxed dream-like state. You might even fall asleep during treatment!

Inhaled Gas

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is the simplest and safest form of sedation available. You simply breathe it in and enjoy the giggly effects almost instantly! The effects of this sedation are very light and are easily reversed.

Will Sedation Be Enough?

Maybe not. It depends on the treatment you need. Sedation will lower your awareness so that you are more comfortable, but it won’t make all the pain go away. You usually still need local anesthetic (numbing) during your visit.

Fortunately, the sedation will make it much easier to get an injection! You probably won’t feel the needle at all. And if you simply need some sedation to ease extreme anxiety during a non-invasive procedure (say, for a simple dental cleaning), then you won’t need a shot at all.

Some specialty offices do offer general (IV) sedation, but that’s usually reserved for complicated oral surgeries or lengthy procedures. Talk with your dentist about the sedation options available to improve your overall dental treatment experience.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336


Scared of Sedation Dentistry?

When the whole point of sedation dentistry is to help you be less afraid of dental care, it can sound a little strange to be afraid of the sedation part!

But don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal to be a bit anxious if it’s a new experience. The reality is that sedation could be the solution to your dental fears. Let’s take a minute to review what you can expect to experience.

Kinds of Sedation

General Sedation – This is the deepest level of sedation. You are out cold! This is not typically used for routine dental procedures. It’s usually only oral surgeons or anesthesiologists and their highly-qualified team that provide this sedation for advanced and lengthy operations.

Moderate Intravenous sedation – This is medication administered through an IV by a trained doctor. You will still be alert and able to respond to commands. This medication is adjusted according to your need.

Oral Sedation – Oral sedation has a minimal to moderate effect. It won’t put you out completely. You won’t remember much afterwards, but you’ll still be conscious for the procedure.

Nitrous Oxide – Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is instantly reversible and has no lasting effects. It helps you relax and is the safest method for kids.

How Sedation Helps

Sedation can help you to view dental care in a positive light. Ease your concerns further by communicating openly with dentist. Ask about which option right for you, how to prepare, and what safety precautions are in place. With a little planning, sedation in dentistry can be an extremely helpful tool and nothing to be afraid of!

Posted on behalf of:
Dona Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

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