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Do you or a family member have an innate fear of going to the dentist office? Do you dread the sound of a drill or hate the grating feeling of the metal tools scraping against your teeth during your routine general dentistry services? You aren’t alone, that’s for sure.

But you do need to maintain good oral health; tooth decay is four times more prevalent in adolescents than asthma (15%), and health issues such as gum disease can arise if you avoid all cleaning procedures. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss as well. So, besides having a great family dentist and practicing relaxing psychological techniques, you can opt for sedation next time you head to the chair.

A sedation dentist can be you regular dentist or specially certified to work in a sedation dentistry office. But what is sedation dentistry? Also known as sleep dentistry, this technique uses pharmacological drugs — normally sedatives — to keep you relaxed and calm throughout the entire procedure.

These sedatives will suppress the central nervous system, either putting you completely to sleep or making you feel very carefree. The grades of sedation range from minimal, to moderate, to deep sedation. You can either opt for a “gas mask,” through which the drugs will be absorbed through the mucus membranes in your mouth and nose, or opt for an intravenous injection.

To become a sedation dentist, there are courses available at dental schools and private organizations, resulting in the same degree and qualifications after the courses are over. Once they have taken the general courses, there are options to continue learning about sedation dentistry. Over 80% of dentists are general practitioners, and around 20% are dental specialists who limit themselves to a specific subfield of dentistry, such as sedation.

Sedation dentistry may be the right choice for you if you:

  1. Don’t want to know what is happening during the procedure; you want to be completely “out of it.” IV sedation would be best.
  2. Need just a bit of help relaxing (in this case, “laughing gas” is the option for you).
  3. Personally request for sleep dentistry because you believe it will help you tolerate the procedure.
  4. Have a fear of a certain step of the procedure, such as needles, the tooth extraction process, etc. Request for it if you know that you will still have this fear even with adequate pain medication.
  5. Want your problem fixed as quickly and painlessly as possible. For example, a sedation dentist may recommend this option for a dental implants procedure.

Always know that sedation dentistry is just an added relief for those trying to get through a dental procedure; be sure that you have found a caring dentist in a calming environment who can also help you relax. Visit here for more information: