Everything You Wanted to Know about Dental Sedation

Everything you need to know about dental sedation - Bourne End Dental

Fear of the dentist is one of the most common concerns we come across here, at Bourne End Dental. So we decided to write this article, to put you at ease. It’s perfectly understandable if you’re a little anxious about your upcoming dentist appointment. So let’s see what you can do (or what your dental professional could do) to get you to relax.

Why do you need to relax?

As with any other doctor’s appointment, the more at ease you are, the easier it is for your doctor (and for you) to get through the procedure quickly and efficiently. Usually, anxiety or discomfort can make it difficult to find a satisfying solution to your medical concern, and that’s not what we’re here for, is it?

Sedation – here’s how to relax…

Sedation dentistry is a very popular form of the craft, with many patients requiring some form of anesthetic to undergo anything from a routine teeth cleaning, to a more complex dental procedure.

Referred to by some people as “sleep dentistry”, this is not actually 100% accurate. Yes, some people are so scared of going to the dentist that they require general anesthesia (which means they aren’t conscious throughout the procedure), though many only require a local anesthetic, to numb the area that’s being treated.

Since general anesthesia is a serious, and potentially dangerous procedure, dentists prefer to use a more mild form of sedation. Your dental professional will either sedate you through inhalation (you breathe in “laughing gas), orally (you take a pill), or through an IV (intravenous sedation allows your dentist to continually adjust your level of sedation), or through administering serious drugs.

Dental sedation ranges from mild (laughing gas) to deep, and to general anesthesia.


What kind of sedation do you need?

The level of sedation administered will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Pain tolerance – people with a generally low threshold for pain will require sedation that at least allows them to sit still during the procedure;
  • Anxiety level – for some people, fear of the dentist is almost a phobia, which makes it difficult for them to sit still during a procedure;
  • Complexity of the procedure – obviously, the level of sedation necessary for a complex operation will be higher than that for a regular teeth cleaning.

Is dental sedation something you should worry about?

This is a bit of a conundrum – if you’re scared of dentists, it stands to reason you’d be scared of them sedating you, as well. Generally, sedation is safe, as long as it’s administered by a qualified professional.

However, there is always a small risk when getting anesthesia of developing complications. We always suggest disclosing to your doctor any medical conditions that might impact your eligibility for anesthesia.

When you’re “under”, the dentist will constantly monitor your vital signs, to ensure your health and wellbeing, as well as guard against any adverse reactions to the anesthetic. But overall, dental sedation can be a great and highly efficient method to calm your nerves during an appointment.