November 30, 2015

While most people enjoy having a bright, healthy smile, few people actually enjoy having their teeth cleaned. In fact, up to 20% of adults experience dental anxiety that interferes with their oral care. Some skip routine cleanings, while others live with mouth pain because it seems more bearable than having a root canal. However, your teeth are one problem that, if ignored, may actually go away.

Dental issues that go unchecked can lead to tooth decay and loss. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can offer some patients the comfort they need to overcome their dental anxiety and allow a dentist to provide preventative care and treatment.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to help a patient relax during a dental procedure. Our office offers three levels of sedation:

  • Nitrous Oxide: “Laughing gas” is administered through a mask over the nose to help the patient relax during routine procedures. This type of sedation is best for minimally invasive procedures and patients who have only minor dental anxiety.
  • Oral Sedation: A Halcion or Valium pill can be given an hour or so before a procedure to make the patient drowsy and relaxed. Some patients may fall asleep completely. Depending on the dose, the medication may produce a mild to moderate level of sedation.
  • Intravenous Sedation: IV sedation delivers drugs directly to the bloodstream, and can only be administered by a board certified anesthesiologist. The drug takes effect quickly, and can be adjusted easily to suit the individual patient. This type of sedation is appropriate for those with severe dental anxiety, as well as special needs populations.

Fear and anxiety are not the only reasons a patient may request sedation dentistry. Some patients have especially sensitive teeth or a sensitive gag reflex. Others may require extensive work and fear they will be unable to remain still for the duration of the treatment. Children, patients with special needs and adults with dementia may also require special care. If you are interested in sedation dentistry for any reason, contact Dr. Kolnick, an endodontist in White Plains, NY, at 914.750.4033 to discuss your options.



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