Is Sedation Dentistry For You?


Sedation dentistry enables millions to enjoy the benefits of optimal oral health through consistent, high-quality dentistry. Those who have a deep fear of the dentist, often referred to as “dental phobia”, are able to feel calm and relaxed during their visits because of sedation dentistry. Some actually learn to enjoy their visits with a sedation dentist!

Levels and Types of Sedation

There are a few different methods with various degrees of intensity. The levels range from minimal – where a person is relaxed but awake – to deep sedation – where a person is just barely unconscious and easily awakened. General anesthesia is also an option and involves being completely unconscious.

Common methods of sedation include the following:

  • Nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask placed over the nose. This method wears off quickly once the mask has been removed.
  • Oral sedation includes pills that are swallowed an hour or so before the dental procedure. These can be mild or stronger. It is possible to fall asleep using this method, but most patients remain drowsy by easily awakened.
  • Intravenous sedation, given through an IV placed in the arm or hand, can be adjusted to each individual. This method can be more precise, but is not appropriate for those who might have a fear of needles.

Sedation Dentistry Side Effects

Anesthesia comes with some risks and patients who have experienced any type of allergic reaction to an anesthetic should talk with their doctor about other options. Sedation dentistry side effects are usually minimal. A patient may be groggy for a few hours after the procedure and some methods require having someone available to drive home afterward. Common side effects that are mild and last only a short time include the following:

  • Not remembering the details of the procedure
  • A dry or cotton feeling in the mouth
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Hiccups

Some people may have existing health conditions that affect their ability to handle sedation. Those who are overweight or have sleep apnea may be more sensitive and should talk with the dentist before choosing sedation.

Choosing a Sedation Dentist

A qualified dental professional with talk with patients before any dental work is done to cover any concerns or health issues. Most risks are avoided by monitoring the patient’s vital signs closely. A person’s age, weight, and preexisting health conditions affect the dosage of the sedative.

Find out more about sedation dentistry in NJ by calling the office of Thomas F.Friscia, DDS. He serves patients with sedation dentistry and understands why a person might be nervous and consider anesthesia. If worry about pain, embarrassment, or other concerns are keeping you from getting the dental work you need, there are options.The goal is to leave the office feeling relaxed, well-treated, and with a healthy smile.