mature adult woman sitting relaxed on a couchAre you afraid of going to the dentist? Do you have difficulty getting numb or sitting still for your appointment? Does your gagging make your visits uncomfortable? Don’t worry: you’re not alone. Most Americans experience some degree of anxiety and discomfort at the dentist. But you don’t have to be uncomfortable or afraid. With sedation dentistry, you can have a relaxed dental visit to get the dental care you need or cosmetic dentistry that you desire.

Would you like to learn how sedation dentistry can help you overcome dental anxiety and discomfort? Dr. Bob is a certified DOCS (Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation) member, and he’s up on the latest best practices in dental sedation for safety and effectiveness. Please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment with Dr. Bob at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a great way to address many anxiety-related issues at the dentist. Sedation dentistry can help if you:

  • Can’t go to the dentist because of fear
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Have trouble getting numb
  • Can’t sit still for a dental appointment
  • Get sore during or after a dental appointment

These problems all center around your anxiety. The fear is easy to identify for many: you’re afraid of the dentist. But it’s also possible your anxiety manifests in other ways.

You may have a naturally strong gag reflex. Still, for many people, this is heightened at the dentist because anxiety increases awareness of and sensitivity to the tools in the mouth. The same is true of anesthesia resistance. Some people are naturally resistant. Others feel anxious, which increases their body’s processing of local anesthesia, making it harder to get numb.

When people fidget through a dental appointment, part of the problem is anxiety. Other times it’s just because the appointment is long. They may also tense their muscles to make it through the appointment. This can cause soreness in the head, neck, back, and arms.

Sedation Dentistry Options

At Advanced Dentistry of Butler, we offer three sedation dentistry options:

  • Oral conscious sedation
  • Nitrous oxide
  • IV sedation

Which sedation option is best for you depends on the problems you experience and your treatment needs.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation uses a pill to calm your anxiety. It’s just a prescription for an oral sedative, such as Valium. You may be given some at our office when you arrive, or you may be prescribed some to take before you come in (and sometimes the night before).

Oral conscious sedation is good for people who have moderate to severe anxiety. It’s also best if your procedure has a predictable length since it’s hard to extend this type of sedation in the middle of a procedure. The main drawback of this sedation is that you will need someone to take you to and from your appointment and stay with you the rest of the day.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is inhaled dental sedation. You’ll be fitted with a nasal mask that supplies a mix of nitrous and oxygen to help you feel more relaxed.

Nitrous oxide is best for people with mild to moderate anxiety, especially those who have difficulty getting numb or are likely to get sore after a procedure. Nitrous was originally used as anesthesia because it can help control discomfort.

IV Sedation

IV sedation uses many of the same medications as oral conscious sedation but is introduced directly into the bloodstream. This allows for more immediate sedation, which means the sedation can be extended as long as necessary for a procedure.

IV sedation is best for people with moderate to severe dental anxiety. It’s also great when your procedure is long and complicated or is more likely to encounter unexpected difficulties.

Why Choose Dr. Bob for Sedation Dentistry

Dr. Bob is a great choice for a sedation dentist. He is compassionate, well-trained, and experienced.

All good dentistry starts with communication. Dr. Bob takes the time to listen to his patients and understand their needs. This is the foundation of trust, and when many people talk to Dr. Bob, they realize they don’t even need sedation dentistry. But Dr. Bob also has the ability to really empathize with patients who truly can’t get past anxiety and other issues without sedation.

Dr. Bob has prepared himself to deliver the best sedation for his patients. As a certified member of DOCS, Dr. Bob has been trained in the best practices for delivering sedation solutions safely.

He has built on his training with 40 years of practical experience, helping patients achieve great dentistry results with convenient appointments.

Would you like to learn more about what makes Dr. Bob the best choice for sedation dentistry in Butler? Please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment with our dentist at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses sedatives to calm anxiety, reduce discomfort, and control side effects during dental treatment. 

Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?

Most people with dental anxiety or discomfort are good candidates for sedation dentistry. However, age, obesity, and preexisting conditions may cause risks. We’ll ask you about your health, and if we have any concerns may ask you to get clearance from your doctor before sedation.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes. Sedation dentistry is safe for good candidates, especially if you work with a DOCS-certified dentist. 

What types of sedation are available?

At Advanced Dentistry of Butler, we offer three types of sedation:

  • Oral conscious sedation
  • Nitrous oxide
  • IV sedation

For more information, see the detailed descriptions on this page. 

How long does the sedative effect last?

The duration of sedative effects depends on the type of sedation. With nitrous oxide, the effects wear off quickly: within 5 minutes for most people. With oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, the effects may last for an hour or more after your dental procedure. 

Will I be unconscious during sedation?

Generally not. Sedation dentistry makes you relaxed, but you will likely still be awake. However, some people are so relaxed that they doze off during treatment. Because sedatives may have an amnesia effect, you may think you fell asleep, even if you were awake the entire time. 

How do I choose a dentist for sedation dentistry?

If you are looking for a sedation dentist, choose one that has all three E’s:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Empathy

You want to choose a dentist with training in the safe and effective use of sedation. DOCS certification is a good measure to use for this. 

You also want a dentist who has administered dental sedation many times. They’ve reaffirmed the key points of their training through repeated practice. 

Finally, you want a dentist who makes you feel completely comfortable. You should trust them and feel that they have empathy for your situation. 

Sedation dentistry is most commonly used for what procedures?

With sedation dentistry, the issue is more the patient than the procedure. Anxious dental patients will likely use sedation for almost every procedure, while many people never need sedation. 

However, patients are more likely to ask for sedation for:

  • Extractions
  • Dental implants
  • Complex restorative and cosmetic dentistry