November 30, 2015

Does the thought of a dental cleaning set your teeth on edge? Have you been ignoring persistent tooth pain because the idea of dental surgery causes you undue anxiety or distress? You are not alone. Between 15% and 20% of the population report delaying important oral health care because of dental anxiety. However, most dental problems will not resolve themselves, and will grow worse over time. Dental sedation can allow an anxious patient to receive treatment before a minor problem becomes more serious.

What Types of Sedation Are Available

Dental sedation is the administering of medication to calm and relax a patient. Sedation comes in three major forms:

  • Nitrous Oxide (also known as “laughing gas”) – Medication is inhaled through a mask place over the nose. The patient will be relaxed throughout the procedure, but the effects wear off quickly once the mask is removed.
  • Oral Sedation – Medication is taken in pill form. The patient will feel sleepy, but the effects will gradually wear off.
  • Intravenous (IV) Conscious Sedation – The medication will be administered through an IV, and the patient will typically have little or no recall of the procedure.

Who Is a Candidate For Dental Sedation?

Many types of patients can benefit from dental sedation, whether it allows them to experience the procedure in greater comfort and with less anxiety, or enables them to sit still through a lengthy procedure. Sedation dentistry may be the appropriate choice for:

  • Patients who require extensive treatment such as a complex wisdom tooth extraction.
  • Patients with a severe gag reflex or extremely sensitive teeth.
  • Patients who have an extreme fear of needles or anxiety about dental procedures
  • Patients who have experienced previous dental trauma
  • Children, special needs patients, or elderly patients who suffer from dementia

Dr. James Lesinski is a general dentist in Amherst, NY who offers gentle, patient-centered family dental care. To discuss sedation dentistry or to schedule an appointment, contact his office at 716.650.4003.



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