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Is Sedation Dentistry Dangerous? Debunking Myths


Like heading to your doctor for annual wellness visits, going to the dentist should be a regular part of your overall healthcare preventative measures. But many people correlate a visit to the dentist with pain, and they avoid going for checkups. This pain association is a common myth in the field of dentistry, and it’s just one of many myths that people have about dental care.

The truth is that if you make regular checkups and dental care part of your normal routine, you can prevent many of those “painful” visits by catching problems early. By putting it off, you’re waiting until the issue can only be resolved through procedures that involve needles, anesthesia, and discomfort.

But one way to avoid all of that is to use sedation dentistry when you have to have a complex procedure. Sedation dentistry is a regular part of dental care used by specialists to help individuals relax and safely have their dental procedures taken care of. 

As with many aspects of dentistry, sedation comes with many myths that must be debunked. If your dentist recommends IV sedation or a form of oral sedation dentistry before a procedure, read these myths before deciding whether it is for you.

Sedation Dentistry Myth Versus Fact

Myths can create ideas in a person’s mind that have no basis in fact, or they can be somewhat related to the truth but blown out of proportion. Here are some of the most common myths about sedation dentistry and the truth behind them.

  1. To be sedated, you must be put into an unconscious state. While this does have somewhat of a factual basis with certain types of sedation, there are multiple options for you to choose from. Your dentist will talk to you about your choices and the pros and cons of each so you can come to a comfortable decision about the sedation you’ll receive. 
  2. Laughing gas is an outdated method of sedation that is dangerous. This myth is truly a myth. “Laughing gas,” which is nitrous oxide, is one of the easiest, most relaxing types of sedation you can receive. The question, “Do dentists still use gas for sedation” pops up often because there are so many other, more innovative, options, but many people prefer laughing gas because it brings you to a state of mellow relaxation.

Of course, one of the concerns is that laughing gas makes you say “stuff” under sedation. As you’re relaxed, your internal filter is let down. But since you’re getting an oral procedure, talking is limited anyway. The gas wears off quickly after your treatment since it’s fed to you through an air tube that pumps the nitrous oxide into your body through your nose. Once it’s removed, you quickly begin passing normal oxygen into your bloodstream, so the opportunity to say something you’d rather not is a very short timeframe.

One of the most requested concerns is the use of nitrous oxide is with wisdom teeth removal where laughing gas versus anesthesia is in question. Talk to your dentist about the advantages and disadvantages with your specific procedure.

1. IV sedation dentistry is only for people with anxiety

There are multiple types of sedation that are usually used before IV sedation is selected, but some people prefer this type of medicine. 

If you’re nervous about your procedure, the IV sedation gets you an almost immediate way to relax, since the medicine goes straight into your bloodstream. 

You don’t have to have anxiety to benefit from IV sedation, but if you do, you might want to talk to your dentist about whether you’re a candidate for this anesthesia.

2. Sedation is too expensive

The many types of sedation mean that you can work with your dentist to select an option that fits your healthcare needs and budget. Technological innovations have made all of the components that go into the ingredients behind sedation affordable, so you may not even notice much of an out-of-pocket impact, depending on the type you choose. Your dentist can help you understand what to expect, what type of sedation you’re a candidate for, and the costs beyond what your insurance, if you have any, will cover.

Schedule Your Dental Visit With Serene Dental

When you have to have a dental procedure that includes sedation, you want to make sure the people taking care of you are experts in their field. At Serene Dental, we walk you through every step of making sure you understand and trust in us to get the treatment done well and as painlessly and safely as possible. Call today to schedule your appointment and see what sedation options are right for you.

Schedule your Appointment

Call or visit our online scheduling page and experience our high-quality dentistry care in comfort and gentleness. Come get the Serene Experience!

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