Sedation Dentistry

Sedation DentistryA Stress-Free Dental Experience!

Do you feel anxious at the thought of visiting a dentist? Going to the dentist is not usually at the top of people’s “fun things to do” list. It might feel slightly unpleasant for some, but others are filled with dread and anxiety over the idea. In fact, fear of the dentist is often the number one reason why some people avoid dental check-ups entirely.

Dr. Burrows and his staff understand this dental anxiety. We are also aware of the importance of regular dental visits and we strive to make our offices as comfortable and unintimidating as possible. That’s why we offer a variety of sedation options to help you tolerate dental visits and maintain great oral health.

Conscious Dental Sedation

Conscious sedation means taking an oral sedative or breathing in nitrous oxide to relax you. If you are asked to take an oral sedative before coming to your dental appointment, you will need someone else to drive you to and from our office. We may give you the oral sedative when you arrive but before you are in the dental operatory.

If you choose to have nitrous oxide, it is given through a mask that you wear while your dental work is being done. When you remove the mask, the effects wear off quickly, so you normally do not need a ride home.

Oral sedation and nitrous oxide do not block your pain receptors, so a local anesthetic is also used.

If you have been avoiding the dentist because you have had a bad dental experience in the past or simply fear the sights, sounds and smells of a dentist office, it is time to take action. Do not let your anxieties harm your dental health.

Frequently Asked Sedation Dentistry Questions

Does sedation dentistry mean I will sleep during my dental procedure?

There is sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry. If you have a sedative, you will be not be asleep but will be in a very relaxed state. The sights, sounds and smells of the dental office will become less noticeable, and you will be able to respond to any requests made, such as “Please turn your head a little this way”.

Why do you give local anesthetic with sedation?

Pain and fear of pain are two different things. An analgesic like aspirin blocks pain but does not help with anxiety. We always give a local anesthetic to block the pain receptors in the treatment area. If you are nervous or fearful, we can help with that by giving you a sedative.

Does local anesthesia hurt?

Getting a local anesthetic can be uncomfortable for some people, depending on the injection location, the dentist’s skill, and the person’s threshold for pain. We use a swab to numb the gum surface before injecting your local anesthetic, and that reduces the discomfort of the needle. If you have been sedated before being given any local anesthetic, your nervous system is slowed down and you will not feel as much discomfort. Also, you will not be fearful of discomfort, as a relaxed body is always more comfortable.

Can sedation dentistry be used for all dental procedures?

Yes. It can be used for routine check-ups and dental cleanings or for more intense procedures, such as root canals or tooth extraction. Sedation can also be used for patients who wish to enhance their smiles through cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as porcelain veneers, dental implants or crowns. The important thing is that you get the dental work done that you need in order to stay healthy.

Is sedation dentistry used only for those who fear the dentist?

No. Sedation dentistry can also be beneficial for people who:

  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Do not respond well to numbing treatments
  • Have several dental treatments they want to complete in one visit
  • Have physical limitations in their jaw, neck or back