For various reasons, many people have a hard time relaxing when they are at the dentist. It’s a common issue, considering a recent study by DentaVox found the majority of respondents worldwide admitted to some degree of dental fear. But since oral health and your overall health are intertwined, avoiding dental treatment forever is not a viable option. Fortunately, sedation dentistry is a great way to get the treatment you need while being able to relax in comfort. If you’ve encountered negativity about it online or elsewhere, you should check out some dental sedation myths in Dallas being debunked below. As your dentist discusses, it is safe, effective, and versatile to be used in a lot of situations.
Myth 1: Sedation “puts you to sleep.”
Fact: Sedation dentistry does not make you unconscious unless general anesthesia is used. You do reach a deep level of relaxation with nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation, so you may become a bit drowsy. Even if you fall asleep during your procedure, your dentist can wake you up easily and you’ll still be able to respond to verbal cues. Plus, you won’t feel any discomfort.
Myth 2: All sedation is the same.
Fact: When it comes to sedatives, there are several types like general anesthesia, IV sedation, oral conscious sedation, and nitrous oxide. Each one has its own benefits and should be chosen based on your needs. Oral sedation and nitrous oxide are generally chosen for more routine, basic procedures. IV sedation is a good option for patients who are very frightened, have a strong gag reflex, are troubled by previous bad experiences, are uncooperative otherwise, or have an extensive procedure like dental implant surgery or surgical tooth extractions.
General anesthesia in dentistry is like the type used during surgical procedures in hospitals. The patient becomes unconscious, so it involves more risks. In fact, it is rarely used. Usually, it only comes into play if a procedure could be potentially traumatic, or a patient has such deep-rooted fear that no other option will allow them to receive treatment.
Myth 3: Sedation dentistry isn’t safe.
Fact: When complications do arise, it is nearly always because the patient in question was not a viable candidate for the sedation used. When it is utilized on a patient deemed a viable candidate and administered by a trained professional, sedation dentistry is safe and effective. Your dentist conducts a thorough consultation to review your medical history, medications, and lifestyle to ensure you have minimal risk factors for complications.
Nitrous oxide is the most common choice for children. General anesthesia clearly involves the most risk, but as referenced in the previous point it is quite uncommon in dentistry.
Myth 4: Sedation dentistry is only for complex surgical procedures.
Fact: Though it is often associated with surgical procedures, sedation dentistry is beneficial for several situations. If you only need a little extra help to relax during a dental cleaning, that’s a job better suited for nitrous oxide. A more complex procedure like a root canal could call for oral conscious sedation.
Don’t believe everything you read online, positive or negative. If you have follow-up questions about dental sedation myths in Dallas, be sure to ask your dentist during your next visit. While they likely won’t offer all varieties of sedation, they can inform you about each one of them.
About the Author
Dr. David Brumbaugh earned his dental doctorate at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Brumbaugh is considered an expert on IV conscious sedation. He is licensed by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, and Dr. Brumbaugh currently offers IV sedation and nitrous oxide sedation. You can schedule a consultation for a particular treatment with your dentist in Dallas or an appointment for a checkup on his website or by calling (214) 369-5159.