What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a technique for helping people with dental anxiety or other problems that prevent them from getting the necessary dental care or cosmetic dentistry treatments they desire.

How Sedation in Dentistry Works

Those who suffer from dental phobias often experience extreme anxiety when they go to the dentist. This anxiety and tension cause overall stress, making it difficult to relax while work is being done. Even simple cleanings that cause no discomfort at all can become a stress-filled experience for someone with a dental phobia.

Dr. Michael Firouzian is happy to offer two types of dental sedation:

  • Oral sedation—you take a pill before coming to the office
  • Nitrous oxide—once in our office you will wear a mask that allows you to inhale nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) which helps you to relax

For oral sedation, Dr. Firouzian will administer a mild sedative that helps you relax. This has the advantage that you can take it before your dental visit and can feel relaxed before your appointment. The disadvantage is that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

Dr. Firouzian can also do your dental work using nitrous oxide to provide a similar sedative effect. You will remain alert throughout your dental work, able to respond to questions or directions from Dr. Firouzian. You will, however, be completely relaxed and in a calm, almost dreamlike state. Your time in the dentist’s chair will seem to pass very quickly, and you will experience no anxiety at all.

Am I a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can help people who avoid dental treatment because they are afraid or are uncomfortable. Common situations in which people benefit from sedation dentistry include people who:

  • Are afraid of the dentist
  • Are frightened by specific sights and sounds at the dental office
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Have difficulty getting numb
  • Get a sore jaw after holding the mouth open for dental care

If you have any of these, sedation dentistry can help unless you have an unfortunate allergy to the sedation medication or are taking medications that interact with the sedation medication.

Advantages of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation lets you get dental work you might be too afraid to approach otherwise. It can also make dental visits seem more normal and routine so you may overcome your dental phobia. Since much dental pain is related directly to anxiety, sedation dentistry can reduce the amount of discomfort you experience.

In addition to alleviating anxiety, sedation can also be helpful to the dentist. If you have avoided seeing a dentist, Dr. Firouzian might discover that you need to have several procedures done in order to restore your overall oral health. Using sedation dentistry, he can more easily address multiple problems in a single visit. Because you will be relaxed, his work will be easier to perform. The sedative will also make time seem to go more quickly so that procedures that take some time to do properly will not cause additional stress.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Is Sedation Dentistry the Same As Sleep Dentistry?

Sometimes people use the phrase “sleep dentistry” to refer to sedation dentistry, but it’s a bit of a misnomer since you are never really asleep. You remain conscious and can answer questions and respond to requests, but your awareness will be dimmed and your memory of your appointment will be blurry.

Will I Still Need Anesthesia During My Procedure?

Yes. Sedation for anxiety is not the same as anesthesia for discomfort. Sedation is typically administered first to alleviate any concerns you may have about anesthesia.

Will I Be Able To Drive Myself On the Day of A Procedure?

That depends. If you are taking oral conscious sedation, you will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. If you are having nitrous, we can hold you in our office until you are ready to drive yourself home.

Get Sedation Dentistry in Columbus, OH

Don’t anxiety or fear keep you from getting the dental treatments you need to maintain a healthy smile. Contact our Columbus, OH dentist, Dr. Michael Firouzian, to learn if sedation dentistry is right for you. Book your next appointment by calling (614) 848-5001 or contacting us online.