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Sedation dentistry provides a reassuring solution for many Americans who avoid dental checkups due to fear or anxiety. Contrary to common belief, sedation dentistry does not induce sleep; instead, it helps patients stay awake while calming their anxiety during the dental procedure. Sedatives like nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation can be taken orally, eliminating the need for injections and ensuring a pain-free, anxiety-free experience. The sedatives can be so effective that patients may not recall details of the procedure afterward. Safety and compliance are paramount, making sedation dentistry a favorable option for both patients and dentists.
Having a caregiver accompany the patient is essential, especially if sedatives are taken the night before the dental visit, as driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.
Sedation dentistry offers several advantages, including anxiety relief, minimal side effects, increased productivity during each visit, absence of needles, painlessness, and enhanced safety. Various types of dental sedatives, such as nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation, can be tailored to individual needs, with different levels of sedation available (mild, moderate, and deep). Before administering any sedative, dentists carefully assess the patient’s complete medical history and current medications.