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Sedation Dentistry: Relaxation is Possible in the Dental Chair

November 4, 2019

Woman in dental clinic wearing a nose mask

Dental anxiety can be rough.  It paralyzes patients from seeing the dentist, taking care of dental problems or prevent them from doing esthetic dentistry to improve their smiles.  At the Drs. Boyd in midtown Manhattan, we work with patients to help manage their anxiety but many times patients need something extra for relaxation.  This is why we offer our patients the benefit of sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves taking a medication to help patients relax during dental treatment.  Not all forms of sedation are the same.  There are a varying degrees of sedation including mild, moderate, deep and general anesthesia.  Depending on the level of treatment and the needs of the patient, we tailor the level of sedation.

Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Many patients require some form of sedation for dental procedures.  Some reasons for dental sedation include fear of the dentist that does not allow any treatment, severe gag reflex, a very low pain threshold, extremely sensitive teeth or an extensive amount of dental work needed.  We need to complete a thorough review of your medical history and current medications to determine what form of dental sedation is possible and safe.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

One of the most common dental sedatives is nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas.  A patient wears a nasal mask and breaths in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide to achieve a mild relaxion.  One of the best aspects of laughing gas is that it works really fast and wears off really fast.  This means that you will not have a recovery after the procedure and you will be able to leave on your own.  Many patients use nitrous oxide with cleanings and other minor and major dental procedures.

Oral Sedation

This type of sedation can vary from mild to moderate depending on the dosage of the drug used.  The drugs most commonly used for this type of sedation are Valium, Ativan or Xanax.  Taking one of these pills will make you relaxed and a little drowsy.  We generally have patients take one pill the night before to ensure a good sleep and one the next day an hour before their scheduled appointment.  These drugs are the most commonly recognized methods of sedation dentistry.  We recommend that someone is available to escort you home after your appointment.

IV Sedation

When a patient requires a deeper and more profound form of sedation, we opt for IV sedation.  We work with a dental anesthesiologist that administers IV drugs to achieve deep relaxation in a safe environment for our patients.  We can administer drugs that will range from moderate to deep sedation.  Patients will need a period of recovery after the drugs wear off or are reversed.  For IV sedation, we require an escort home from your appointment.

Regardless of the severity of your dental phobias, the Drs. Boyd have a solution for you.  We can discuss the best form of treatment for your needs so that you have a great dental experience.  Contact us at (212) 755-9055 to find out more information on sedation dentistry.

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