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, Columbia sedation dentistry can make it easier for you to get more dental treatments in fewer visits. A sedation dentist can be especially ideal for patients who need multiple cosmetic treatments.

How Oral Sedation Dentistry Works

Before your appointment, you will be given a prescription. It’s typically just one pill 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.

How Nitrous Oxide Sedation Dentistry Works

You might be more familiar with nitrous oxide’s layman’s term; laughing gas. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that you breathe through a mask covering your nose. It takes a few minutes to work, but it’s a mild sedative that manages pain and anxiety throughout your dental appointment. Once the mask is removed, it only takes a few minutes for you to return to normal again.

Nitrous oxide slows down your nervous system. You might feel like your arms and legs are very heavy, tingly, or a little light-headed, but ultimately, it’ll allow you to receive dental treatment without feeling anxious.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Sedation dentistry is very safe, and the advanced training that our sedation dentist, Dr. Adam Hahn, has received make it even safer. Dr. Adam Hahn is an award-winning Columbia sedation dentist.

If we are using oral sedation, we will talk with you about a few specific risk factors, such as drug allergies or heart and respiratory conditions, before prescribing medication. If there is a cause for concern, we might refer you to someone who can give you an alternative treatment. However, most patients are at little or no risk for adverse effects from sedation dentistry.

We’ll also discuss your health history before using nitrous oxide. Those who shouldn’t use nitrous oxide are in the first trimester of pregnancy, have a history of respiratory illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), vitamin B-12 deficiency, a history of substance abuse, an enzyme condition, or a history of mental health conditions. Most people can safely use nitrous oxide to lessen anxiety during dental appointments.

Are There Any Side-Effects?

Most people don’t experience side effects from either type of sedation dentistry. Some patients may experience grogginess, a dry mouth, or headache. Most patients will have little memory of the dental experience and will need someone to drive them to and from the appointments.

Ask About Sedation Dentistry in Columbia, SC

If you have more questions or want to learn more about sedation dentistry, please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia today. We are happy to answer any questions and provide sedation dentistry to those who need it.