Request Request an Appointment Forms Complete Our Forms Find Us Like Us on Facebook Reviews Leave a Google Review Call Map
Request an Appointment

Busting 4 Common Dental Sedation Myths

July 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — spitarra @ 3:55 pm
Woman with eyes closed in dental chair with nitrous oxide mask over nose and mouth

The mere thought of having to go to the dentist may fill you with dread. Dental phobia or anxiety is actually quite common and is nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe you had a bad experience at the dentist’s office in the past or are anxious about receiving bad news. That being said, many patients are also nervous about dental sedation. Much of the fear stems from misconceptions about what sedation dentistry is and what it can do for you. To put your mind at ease, here are the truths behind 4 common dental sedation myths.

Myth #1. General anesthesia is the only form of dental sedation.

Many patients believe that there is only one option for sedation: general anesthesia. Although dentists do use anesthesia, it’s typically used for more complex oral surgeries.

There are multiple methods available for sedation dentistry, the most popular being oral sedation and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the lightest form of sedation and has quick effects that are felt within 2-3 minutes and dissipate 3-5 minutes after the procedure. Oral sedation is a prescription pill medication taken before your appointment. It is stronger than nitrous oxide and can make you fall asleep.

Whichever form your dentist elects for is based on your overall health condition and the extent of sedation needed for the procedure.

Myth #2. Sedation dentistry can only be used for complex and major surgical procedures.

You might associate sedation with more major treatments, but typically, it can be used for just about any procedure at the dentist’s office. Ultimately it is used to ensure that your experience is a comfortable and painless one. 

In addition to being used for wisdom teeth removal and dental implants, sedation dentistry can be used for “routine” treatments as well, like your biannual checkups. In short, if you struggle with dental-related anxiety, have sensitive teeth, or have a strong gag reflex, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation.

Myth #3. Dental sedation is harmful and dangerous.

When administered correctly, sedation is not harmful. Although some patients are not good candidates for sedatives, for the vast majority, there is a safe sedation option for them. 

The criteria for whether or not you qualify for sedation dentistry is largely centered around your overall health. For this reason, it’s crucial that your dentist has all your past and current medical history.

Myth #4. Anyone can be a candidate for dental sedation.

Although sedation dentistry is safe for patients of all ages, there are times when it’s not the best option. For instance, you should not have dental sedation if you have any of the following conditions:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You have an allergy to sedation medication.
  • You have nervous system issues.
  • You are taking medications that would interfere with the effectiveness or safeness of the sedation.
  • You have undergone radiation therapy recently.

If you have any of the aforementioned circumstances, talk to your dentist about what other options could work for you.

About the Practice

Drs. Sarah Pitarra and Amy Vela are dedicated to giving patients a comfortable dental experience. Their practice offers quick-acting nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation for patients who are candidates for sedation dentistry. If you want to learn more about dental sedation, contact Drs. Pitarra and Vela at their website or by phone at (361) 855-7171.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.