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Sedation Dentistry - Is It Right For Me?

Nervous to go to the dentist? Previous bad experience? Having an invasive dental procedure? Just want to feel a little more comfortable at an appointment? These are all common sentiments when thinking about an upcoming dental appointment. In fact, a 2007 article in the Journal of the American Dental Association estimates that up to 22% of dental patients suffer from extreme dental anxiety. Luckily, we dentists have many tools available to ease this anxiety, and sedation dentistry is just one of them!


So, what is sedation dentistry? Sedation dentistry is a broad term, which encompasses many different modalities of helping patients feel more relaxed during their dental appointments. Here at Crestmont Dental, we offer a variety of options to our patients.


  1. Oral sedation - A mild form of sedation, where a pill or liquid sedative medication is taken orally

  2. Nitrous oxide sedation - A mild form of sedation, where “laughing gas” is inhaled through a small hood placed on the nose of a patient

  3. IV conscious sedation - A deeper form of sedation, where potent sedative medications are administered through an intravenous line. These medications allow a patient to become extremely relaxed throughout their appointment. Notably, these medications also have an “amnesia effect”, meaning patients typically remember none, or almost none, of their appointment.


In addition to these options, many people are also familiar with the term “general anesthesia”. This modality falls under the category of “unconscious sedation”, where the patient is completely asleep throughout their procedure. Due to the depth of the sleep, breathing tubes are generally placed for the duration of the anesthesia.


Each of these modalities has different pros and cons, as well as considerations for preparation and recovery. Certain medical conditions may impact which modality is right for you.


If you are interested in discussing any of these options further, contact our clinic, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!


Happy smiling :)

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