Is sedation dentistry really safe?

I have always been really nervous about going to the dentist. Even for a cleaning, I get really worked up. So much so, I have been known to cancel appointments at the last minute. Well, sadly it’s been a couple years now since I have been in and someone told me about sedation dentistry. I think I am willing to give it a try. But I’m nervous about the safety of the treatment. How safe is it? I sometimes have strange reactions to medication, so I’m not sure it will be right for me.

– Sarah in Indiana


As you know, with any medication there is always some risk associated with taking it. That said, there is an extremely low risk factor with oral sedation. Talk to your dentist about your apprehension, and he or she will likely tell you that they have never encountered any type of reaction to the medication. Now, if you are allergic to medications, you will want to be sure to discuss the specific medication used at your dental office to avoid anything that would negatively affect you.

It is okay and honestly quite normal to be nervous about trying sedation dentistry. A lot of people think it is like being knocked out. But oral sedation is much different than the general anesthesia like you receive in a hospital. This means that with oral sedation, your protective reflexes are still completely functional which means you breathe, swallow, and cough normally.

It may help put your mind at ease if you interview your dentist about any additional training they have had and also inquire about their safety protocol. Most offices will have a trained staff member by your side to monitor your vital signs throughout the treatment. In your case, you will want to disclose your full medical history to avoid any interactions or complications.

Sedation dentistry is perfect solution for people like you. It simply involves taking a pill before the appointment and makes you feel indifferent to what is going on. Most patients describe the experience that it feels like no time has transpired, kind of like you had a nap. It won’t be safe for you to drive to and from the appointment. So you will need to arrange a driver.

Most cater to cowards dentists understand where  you are coming from. They want to partner with you to work through your anxiety and fear to help you get back on track with regular dental care. Don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist and ask questions about what to expect. Just like with everything else, no question is a dumb question.

This post is sponsored by Atlanta cosmetic dentist Flax Dental.

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Posted in: Cater to Cowards Dentist, Sedation Dentistry


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