Should You Consider Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a process that can help many people who might otherwise have trouble getting dental care. Some folks require it more than others do, though. If you're thinking about sedation as an option, you should consider if you're dealing with a situation like one of these five.

Extreme Anxiety

A doctor will usually consider giving a patient a prescription for some type of anti-anxiety pill before going for full sedation. These pills tend to have calming effects that allow patients to handle their moods during procedures.

However, some patients suffer from anxiety levels that exceed what pills can do. These folks may be candidates for full-on sedation dentistry.

Gag Reflex

Some folks also struggle with suppressing their gag reflexes. Especially if the doctor will need to work near the back of a patient's throat, sedation may be the simplest way to suppress the response. Otherwise, there is a risk a patient could choke or throw up during a procedure.


Unsurprisingly, children and even some teenagers are candidates for sedation procedures. The concerns are often quite similar to those involving adults with severe anxiety in the sense that kids frequently struggle with controlling their emotional reactions. The sounds of dentistry, especially drills working for long periods, can be tough to deal with. Likewise, some minors have trouble keeping their mouths open for long times while a dentist works.

Extreme Pain

A few dental procedures can involve extreme pain. For example, a dentist may need to perform work very close to a nerve. Also, some procedures may require removing bone. If a dentist is worried that the pain of a procedure is going to be too extreme for a patient, they may recommend sedation.

Notably, very few modern procedures involve this level of pain. Even processes that have historically had bad reputations, such as root canals, don't hit this level. However, it's good to know the dentist has the option in rare cases.

Long Procedures

Keeping the mouth relaxed long enough to complete a procedure can be difficult for the patient. Even if the doctor can use rubber pieces to hold the mouth open, the patient may just not be able to endure a prolonged procedure while conscious. In these cases, sedation dentistry may be an option. However, a doctor has to be careful about overdoing the sedative. When possible, a dentist will break a procedure into multiple ones to avoid this sort of strain.

For more information about sedation dentistry, contact a local service.