What Is Sedation Dentistry and How Does It Work?

February 4, 2022 - Digital Resource Blogger

Does the prospect of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense? Would you rather suffer through the pain of a toothache than visit a dentist? You’re not the only one who feels this way. Many people are so afraid of going to the dentist that they would rather not get any treatment. Luckily, relaxation dentistry in Santa Clara is an option. 

Medication is used in sedation dentistry to help patients relax during dental operations. Although not entirely accurate, it’s sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry.” With the exception of individuals under general anesthesia, patients usually are awake. 

Our top goal is always your safety. This is why we provide detailed instructions, so you know exactly what to expect. For example, you may need to fast several hours before your appointment. For this reason, many patients schedule their appointments in the morning. 

dentist holding syringe about to give worried patient a shot at relaxation dentistry in santa clara

What Does Relaxation Dentistry Entail?

Oral Sedation 

Oral sedation may cause you to become drowsy and fall asleep. However, if we need you to comply with the dentist, we’ll be able to easily wake you up. For example, the dentist may ask you to angle your head during the treatment so they may have better access to your tooth. 

IV Sedation 

IV sedation may cause you to become drowsy and is sent directly through your bloodstream through an IV. The dentist will have full control over how much you are sedated. 

General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation 

During complex surgeries, you may be given drugs that will render you either almost unconscious or completely unconscious (deeply sleeping). You cannot readily be awakened when under general anesthesia until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication. 

Nitrous Oxide 

When you’re undergoing surgery, this gas helps you relax. Your dentist may allow you to drive yourself home after your appointment because it wears off quickly. 

Who Is Eligible for Sedation at the Dentist? 

Sedation is recommended for people who experience genuine fear or anxiety when coming to the dentist. Hence, if you’re most likely going to feel this way, it’s best that you tell your dentist. 

Is It Possible for Any Dentist to Administer Sedation? 

The majority of dentists are able to provide only light sedation (such as nitrous oxide or pills). A growing number of dentists are able to provide moderate sedation. However, only a small percentage of dentists who have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) program in deep sedation and general anesthesia can use these more complex techniques. 

These dentists are typically oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentist anesthesiologists. Some dentists use a dentist anesthesiologist, who is specially trained to give all levels of sedation and anesthesia to both children and adults.

relaxed woman reclined in dentist chair at relaxation dentistry in santa clara

Learn More About Relaxation Dentistry in Santa Clara! 

Dr. Jayne Dentistry and her team want every patient to feel safe and at ease while visiting the dentist. Are you ready to schedule a consultation with one of our experts? Do you have any questions for us? Call today!