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What is Sedation Dentistry?

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What is Sedation Dentistry?

Jan 8, 2024
Dentist chair. The text reads, "What is Sedation Dentistry"

Although going to the dentist or periodontist is a safe and often pain-free experience, many people harbor worries about having their teeth examined or worked on due to past traumatic experiences. Fear of the dentist is a completely natural, and surprisingly common, phobia among adults.

One way to help alleviate the fears and worries people have about the dentist is through a practice called sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is a safe and stress-free way to help patients get the oral care they need without the anxiety that can sometimes come with a trip to the dentist or periodontist.

Sedation dentistry is the practice of administering a sedative to a patient to help dispel some of their anxieties and make them more relaxed and at ease during the procedure. There are a few different options for sedative dentistry that are designed to help quell the anxieties of patients and make periodontal procedures less stressful. At Bonomo Periodontics, we do not use total sedation or general anesthesia during your procedure, but we do offer some options to help you feel more relaxed or at ease during your procedure.  

In this post, we will explain some options for sedation dentistry, including different sedation options you have, who sedation dentistry is right for, and what kind of sedatives are used in this practice. Keep reading to learn more about sedation dentistry as an option for dispelling dental anxieties. 


What is Sedation Dentistry? 

Sedation dentistry is a dental practice that involves the use of sedatives to help patients relax during dental care or treatment. Its purpose is to alleviate dental anxiety and make the experience more comfortable for patients who have fears or anxieties about visiting the dentist. 

Sedatives such as nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, are commonly used to induce relaxation and reduce pain perception during procedures. By using sedatives, patients can undergo necessary dental treatments without the distress that can often accompany these procedures. This can also help in cases where patients have a sensitive gag reflex or are unable to sit still for extended periods, allowing the dentist to work more effectively. 

For most sedatives, the patient is still awake and conscious but free from anxiety. Afterwards, you will likely have very little memory of the procedure, and during the procedure you will have low sensitivity to pain. 

In the next section, we will explore who dental sedation is right for and how you can ask your dentist or periodontist about your options for dental sedation. 

Dental exam

Who Needs Sedation Dentistry? 


Many patients wonder if dental sedation of some kind might be right for them. They may feel as if only people with severe or medically diagnosed anxiety are eligible to receive sedatives, but this is not true. Any patient can opt for sedation dentistry. 

Let's explore some reasons why you might need sedation dentistry. 

  • Dental anxiety. Dental anxieties are a common reason why people avoid going to the dentist. The thought of dental procedures can trigger fear and panic, making it difficult for patients to receive the necessary oral care they need. Sedation dentistry helps calm these anxieties by using various levels of sedation to induce relaxation and reduce fear.

  • Sensitive gag reflex. Individuals with sensitive gag reflexes can find dental procedures extremely challenging. Even simple tasks like taking dental impressions or getting an X-ray can trigger an uncomfortable gag reflex. Sedation dentistry works wonders by reducing the sensitivity of the gag reflex, making the experience more comfortable for patients.

  • Multiple appointments in one day. For those who require multiple procedures in one appointment, sedation dentistry offers the convenience of completing everything at once. This is particularly helpful for patients with busy schedules or those who may have difficulty returning for multiple visits. Sedation allows dentists to work efficiently while the patient remains relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire procedure. 

Sedation dentistry is an effective solution for individuals with dental anxiety, sensitive gag reflexes, and those who require multiple procedures in one visit. 


What Sedatives Do Dentists Offer? 


Sedation dentistry is a branch of dental care that uses various levels of sedation to help patients relax during dental procedures and alleviate any anxiety or fear they may have. Dentists use different types of sedation depending on the patient's needs and the complexity of the procedure. |

Different dentist offices use different kinds of sedatives. So, talk with your dentist or periodontist about what type of sedation is best for you. Some common dental sedatives include nitrous oxide sedation, oral sedation, and IV sedation. 

  • Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild sedative that is inhaled through a mask. Sometimes called conscious sedation, it helps patients feel relaxed and reduces discomfort during the procedure. 

  • Oral sedation involves the use of medication taken orally, such as a pill, to induce moderate sedation. A step above mild sedation, oral sedation does not fully put a patient under, instead patients enter a state sometimes called "twilight sleep." 

  • IV sedation is administered intravenously, allowing for a deeper level of sedation to be achieved. It puts patients in a relaxed state that helps quell anxiety.  

Dentists consider several factors when determining the appropriate type of sedation for a patient. These include the patient's level of anxiety or dental phobia, the complexity of the procedure, the patient's medical history, and their ability to remain still during the treatment. By carefully assessing these factors, dentists can tailor the sedation approach to ensure the patient's comfort and safety throughout the dental appointment. 

Learn more about the sedation dentistry services Dr. Bonomo offers here! 


IV Sedation Oral Procedures from Bonomo Periodontics

Sedative dentistry is a great option for patients who have anxieties about going to the dentist or periodontist. Sedation can help patients overcome their anxieties about dental work and oral health, and your doctor may provide numerous sedation options including conscious sedation and IV sedation. 

If you are looking for a periodontist in the Cincinnati and Dayton area that offers IV sedation dentistry and a team of venerable oral health experts who care for you and your feelings, then Bonomo Periodontics is here for you. Dr. Raymond Bonomo has decades of experience studying periodontitis, or gum disease, and is here to help you. 

If you are curious about what Bonomo Periodontics can do to help you on your road to healthy gums and teeth, click here to schedule an appointment at either our Springboro or West Chester location! 

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Happy with the difference Bonomo Periodontics has made in your life? Leave us a five-star review here! 


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