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Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Imagine this as your next visit to your family dentist.... Normally, you’re anxious, but today, you’re relaxed, calm, positive and completely ready for the dental procedure that you are about to have.

This type of experience is possible with oral sedation dentistry, a service we offer at Marlborough Dental Centre to help our patients feel calm and comfortable during their dental appointment.

There’s no need to avoid seeing your dentist out of fear or anxiety. Oral sedation can help you approach your next dental appointment with ease, establishing a positive experience where you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout your dental visit.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the benefits of oral sedation dentistry?

At least a third of Canadians report being a little afraid of going to the dentist, and about 5% of individuals admit that they are either “Very afraid” or “Terrified.”

If you suffer from severe anxiety or fear of going to the dentist, oral sedation can help:

  • Reduce feelings of extreme anxiety
  • Establish a new, positive association with dental visits
  • Relax muscle tension and prevent gag reflex during dental procedures

What is the sedation dentistry experience like?

During oral sedation dentistry, your dentist gives you a sedative pill to help reduce any feelings of anxiety or stress before your dental procedure. The sedative typically takes effect within 20 minutes to 1 hour, and is designed to keep you in a relaxed state throughout your appointment.

Individuals experience with oral sedation dentistry can vary. Many patients report a feeling of deep calm and ease once the sedative takes effect. Some may feel drowsy and even fall asleep, although oral sedation involves a minimal level of sedation, so these patients are usually easy to wake.

Who is a candidate?

Good candidates are individuals who are in good health and likely to experience serious anxiety during their dental procedure. If you have a low pain tolerance, highly sensitive teeth, or a large amount of complex dental work, oral sedation can also be helpful.

Poor candidates are patients with health conditions that affect their breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea, are at a greater risk of complications during oral sedation dentistry. These types of patients should review their treatment options carefully with their dentist to ensure that the benefits of oral sedation outweigh the risks.

Your family dentist will provide a final recommendation on whether oral sedation is appropriate for you based on your health, age, and amount of required dental work.

How should you prepare?

During the consultation before your dental procedure, your dentist will review your medical history and confirm the appropriate dosage of sedative for you. Your dental clinic will also give you instructions to help you prepare, including the following general guidelines.

Before the procedure:

  • Book any time off work or child care that you will need following the procedure
  • Recruit a responsible adult who can transport you to and from the dental clinic
  • Follow all instructions from your dentist on fasting before the procedure

After the procedure:

  • Avoid driving or operating hazardous equipment
  • Make sure that you have a responsible adult stay with you until the sedative has worn off
  • If you have children, make sure that someone is available to take care of them for the remainder of the day
  • Avoid signing any contracts or entering other legally‐binding agreements
  • Drink lots of water to help flush out the sedative from your system

If you’ve ever avoided going to the dentist because of deep anxiety or fear, oral sedation can help you overcome your concerns and face your next dental appointment with confidence.

To learn more about sedation dentistry and whether you are a candidate for this procedure, contact our experts at Calgary’s Marlborough Dental Centre online or by phone at 403.248.2066.

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