Has fear of the dentist kept you from getting necessary dental care or fixing cosmetic problems with your smile? Does a visit to the dentist make you very uncomfortable, either because you have trouble getting numb, have a strong gag reflex, or get a sore jaw during or after treatment. If so, sedation dentistry can help. You will be given a prescription that you take before your dental appointment that helps you feel relaxed and at ease during your appointment.
How Sedation Dentistry Can Help
Sedation dentistry is a procedure that can help people who avoid dental treatment for many reasons, including:
- Fear or anxiety
- Previous bad experiences
- Negative response to stimuli like the sound of the drill or sight of needles
- Strong gag reflex
- Sore jaw muscles during or after dental visits
- Difficulty getting numb
By making it more comfortable for you to sit longer in the dentist’s office, sedation dentistry can make it easier for you to get more dental treatments performed in fewer visits. A sedation dentist can be especially ideal for patients who need multiple cosmetic treatments.
How Sedation Dentistry Works
Before your appointment, you will be given a prescription. It’s typically just one pill that you take about half an hour before your appointment.
By the time of your appointment, you will feel relaxed. You won’t be asleep—you’ll be awake and capable of responding to instructions, but you won’t feel anxious or afraid. This is called twilight sedation or twilight anesthesia. You will be aware of what’s going on during your appointment, but you likely won’t remember much afterward.
You will have to have someone drive you to and from your dental appointment, but there won’t be any lingering effect.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Sedation dentistry is very safe, and the advanced training that our sedation dentists, Dr. Paul Hahn and Dr. Adam Hahn, have received make it even safer. Dr. Paul is a member of DOCS, an organization devoted to excellence in oral conscious sedation. Dr. Adam Hahn is an award-winning sedation dentist.
Before prescribing your medication, we will talk with you about a few specific risk factors, such as drug allergies or heart and respiratory conditions. If there is a cause for concern, you might be referred to someone who can give you an alternative treatment. However, most patients are at little or no risk for an adverse effect from sedation dentistry.