Regular dental check-ups are essential for good oral hygiene and are the best way to detect problems in their early stages, saving unnecessary discomfort, time, and money.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

A lot of people ask what sedation dentistry is all about. For some patients who are afraid of dental treatment, sedation dentistry can provide relief. A dentist uses medication to keep a patient relaxed during treatment.


Sedation dentistry is sometimes known as "sleep dentistry". Often the patient is fully conscious during sedation dentistry, so this name is a little misleading. Four levels of sedation are described:

Light sedation - medication helps the patient to relax, but the patient is still conscious.

Moderate sedation - this is sometimes called 'conscious sedation'. The patient may have difficulty speaking and may slur their words and not remember much.

Deep sedation - the patient is at the edge of consciousness until they wake up.

General anesthetic - the patient is unconscious

What Types of Medication Do Dentists Use For Sedation?

Dentists have different options depending on the procedure and level of sedation required. Which option is best for you will depend on your particular circumstances, your general health, and how much sedation you need.

A local anesthetic is used for the actual treatment.

Some practices employ a dental anesthetist to administer any level of sedation required. These specialists usually work in dental surgery practices.

When Does a Patient Need Sedation Dentistry?

The mere thought of dental treatment can cause some patients great anxiety. These people often avoid even routine dental cleanings.

Avoiding dental treatment can result in pain, gingivitis, and lost teeth. Recent research also links gum disease to heart disease and early mortality. It's not known why, but chronic inflammation caused by swollen, infected gums may play a role.

Sedation dentistry offers relief, allowing patients to relax and dentists to work. In some situations, it can save patients from a lifetime of pain.

Some situations where patients may benefit from local sedation are:

  • Fear of dentistry or anxiety that can lead to panic attacks
  • A sensitive gag reflex that makes effective brushing uncomfortable, if not impossible
  • Very sensitive teeth that make cleanings and examinations excruciatingly painful
  • Multiple procedures are scheduled at the same time.

See a dentist to discuss whether this is the right choice for you. If you need a dentist or are still wondering what sedation dentistry is, TruDent Clinics have you covered. To schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, contact TruDent Clinics.


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