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What Is Sedation Dentistry?

You’re not alone if you’ve avoided or delayed getting dental treatment because of anxiety or fear. About 22% of adults avoid going to the dentist because they’re afraid. 

No matter what your reasoning is for delaying a dental visit, the consequences of avoiding preventive or restorative dental care can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and potentially infection or tooth loss. 

Sedation dentistry may be just what you need to feel comfortable and confident about undergoing dental treatment. This treatment involves the use of medications to help patients remain relaxed and calm during a dental procedure. 

You can trust in the effects of sedation dentistry when you visit an experienced dental professional. The sedation dentistry experts at Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights and Carmel, New York, provide professional dental services with accommodations for your personal comfort and concerns. Our team has the training and expertise necessary to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable when choosing sedation dentistry.

Learn how sedation dentistry can change the way you experience dental treatment. 

Oral medication

Oral medication allows you to undergo dental treatment while you’re awake but extremely relaxed. While you remain conscious and aware of what’s happening, you may not remember the details of the procedure after the medication wears off.

Sedation dentistry delivered by oral medication involves taking a prescription pill. You take the pill about an hour before your dental procedure.

Using oral medication typically requires that you wait at the dental office until the effects of the medication wear off. You must arrange for a ride to and from your dental appointment when using oral medication. 

IV Sedation

IV (intravenous) sedation involves administering a drug through your blood during dental treatment. This procedure helps you feel peaceful and relaxed. While you may be able to respond to questions during the procedure, you will have little memory of your experience after the drug wears off.

With IV sedation, a thin needle is inserted into a vein in your arm or hand. The needle is attached to an IV tube that brings the sedative directly into your bloodstream. If you’re afraid of needles, a numbing cream may be applied to the area where the needle is inserted.

The IV may remain in place for the duration of your treatment, though it’s possible that the needle will be removed after the drug is delivered. You receive the same level of conscious sedation with either approach.

Your blood pressure, oxygen level, and pulse are constantly monitored while you’re under the effects of IV sedation. Since IV sedation makes you groggy, you have to arrange for a ride home after the procedure. 

Candidates for sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is often suitable for patients of all ages who are in good health. To ensure your safety, your dentist reviews your medical history, current conditions, and prescriptions to determine whether sedation dentistry is appropriate for you. 

Sedation dentistry may be inappropriate for you if you are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea since having these conditions can increase your risk of complications. Sedation dentistry is not advised for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Benefits of sedation dentistry

In addition to reducing fear and anxiety, sedation dentistry offers the following benefits to patients who need dental treatment:

Find out more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you get the dental treatment you need. Schedule a consultation by calling our Yorktown Heights or Carmel office today.

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