You might have heard about one of the newer and most popular advancements in dentistry, sedation dentistry, but do you understand how it works? It can seem complicated to someone outside the medical field, but the process certainly can (and should) be broken down for any patient considering this option.
The American Dental Association describes sedation dentistry as “an integral part of dental practice” that produces “a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient’s ability to...respond appropriately to...verbal command.” In other words, the term “sedation” doesn’t actually mean you will be asleep. Your central nervous system will be slowed enough to where pain is made minimal during the appointment and the sounds, sights, and smells of the dentist’s office won’t bother you like they usually do.
At Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we take dental phobia very seriously, but we want to help you overcome it through sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry may be recommended not only for people with overwhelming anxiety about dentist appointments but also for those with excessive gag reflexes, low pain tolerances, extreme teeth sensitivity, or a medical inability to remain still. You might also consider sedation dentistry if you need several dental procedures done in the same appointment.
How to prepare for sedation
Contact our Memphis office
to see if sedation dentistry is a fit for you. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like and share any concerns or fears you may have about visiting the dentist. You will need to let us know about any medical issues you may have including allergies and all medications and vitamins you take, even if they seem unrelated, so we can make sure your sedation experience will be safely effective. Additionally, remember not to eat or drink anything six hours before your appointment. You should also arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home to relax following your appointment.
How will the dentist appointment go?
You will be given a small pill at the beginning of or before your appointment. Once this sedative has you relaxed and ready to see the dentist, our staff will get you comfortably situated in the dental chair with a blanket and answer any questions you might have at that point. As a sedation dentist certified by the Dental Organization for Oral Conscious Sedation, I will also administer nitrous oxide to enhance your relaxation. Throughout the appointment, a clinical staff member will be right beside you to monitor your vital signs and comfort level, and we keep accessible the proper drugs to reverse the effects of the sedative if you should need them.
Benefitting from Sedation Dentistry
The morning after your appointment, you will no longer feel the sedative and you can begin enjoying your healthier, more beautiful smile and all of the compliments and confidence it brings to your daily life. Unfortunately, there are still an estimated 30-40 million Americans who let their fear keep them from maintaining dental health through regular appointments, preventing them from achieving the beautiful smile we know they deserve. We hope you aren’t part of that statistic any longer after learning how sedation dentistry really works, but if you have lingering concerns, please schedule a free consultation and we will be more than happy to talk you through them.
Here's to Your Smile,