True or False? 7 Myths About Dental Sedation

When it comes to dental procedures, most patients feel anxious and fearful — that’s totally normal!

We know that these fears can make it difficult for you to get the dental care you need. But don’t worry — sedation dentistry can help you feel relaxed and comfortable. If you want to learn more about your options, or if you’ve heard some myths about sedation dentistry, keep reading and we’ll clarify the facts!

Myth 1: Sedation = general anesthesia

Fact: There are different types of sedation, not just general anesthesia. 

Depending on your needs, medical history, and the procedure you’re having, your dentist will recommend the right form of sedation for you.

Dental sedation options include:

  • IV conscious sedation. As the name suggests, this medication is administered intravenously. You will feel relaxed but still be able to breathe on your own and follow instructions.
  • Oral sedation. This type of sedation consists of an oral medication that you can take before your appointment to help you feel more at ease during your appointment.

Nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas. This is an odorless gas inhaled through a mask that can help you relax during treatment.

Myth 2: Dental sedation always puts you to sleep

Fact: Not always.

While general anesthesia puts you directly to “sleep”, other sedatives tend to cause drowsiness and may cause you to fall asleep during your treatment. With these, you will still be able to follow instructions even if you do fall asleep.

The duration of the sedative effect depends on the type of sedation you choose. Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation tend to linger for a few hours, whereas nitrous oxide wears off almost immediately.

Myth 3: Dental sedation isn’t safe

Fact: It’s safe when administered by a qualified professional.

In a controlled environment, an experienced and qualified dentist can administer dental sedation safely. Your dentist will evaluate whether or not you’re in general good health, as this will lower your risk of complications. 

This takes us to our next myth:

Myth 4: Everyone is a good candidate for dental sedation

Fact: Not everyone is a good candidate.

People with certain medical conditions or allergies may not be good candidates for dental sedation. Some circumstances that may preclude you from receiving sedation include:

  • You are severely allergic to certain medications. If you are allergic to the sedative medication, you could experience an allergic reaction during the procedure. 
  • You are pregnant. Pregnant women are also not good candidates because they may experience complications during the procedure and be more susceptible to serious side effects than other patients.
  • You suffer from a respiratory disease. If you have chronic bronchitis or other respiratory conditions, talk to your dentist before getting dental sedation. 

If you have any specific questions about whether dental sedation would be appropriate for you, consult with your dentist before getting treatment so that they can determine whether it’s safe. If you have a health condition or take medication, be sure to let your dentist know.

Myth 5: Sedation is only for people who need major dental treatments

Fact: It can be used for people who are anxious about any type of dental procedure.

In addition to being a great option for those undergoing complex procedures (like root canals and implants), dental sedation can also provide relief from anxiety during less-invasive procedures such as fillings and cleanings.

Myth 6: Sedation is just for adults

Fact: Dental sedation can help both children and grown-ups.

In fact, nitrous oxide is widely used in children to help them relax during their dental procedures. At our practice, we only recommend this type of sedation for kids.

Myth 7: Nitrous oxide makes you laugh

Fact: Despite being known as “laughing gas” nitrous oxide sedation does not make you laugh.

Nitrous oxide is an inhalation sedation that relaxes patients during their dental procedures. It’s safe, effective at low doses (which reduces the risk of complications), and has no long-term side effects associated with its use.

While the gas will make you feel extremely relaxed, it doesn’t cause any kind of side effects like slurred speech, hallucinations, or loss of self-control. You’ll be able to hear and respond to any questions or instructions from your dentist during the procedure.

Dental sedation options can help you get the care that you need

Sedation options go far beyond general anesthesia. If you’re worried about experiencing pain during any dental treatment, your dentist will help you find the best option for you.

At our practice, we work with patients who feel anxious and fearful about their appointments to help them feel relaxed. Our goal is to make dental visits as comfortable as possible so that our patients can enjoy the benefits of oral health care without being stressed. Our team is highly trained in administering sedation dentistry and will recommend the right type of sedation to fit your needs.

Are you in Austin and want to learn more about sedation dentistry and what it can do for you? Are you looking for an experienced dentist who is qualified to administer sedation for dental procedures? At Austin Dental, we’re happy to help! Call us at (512) 835-1924 or schedule your appointment online to get the expert help that you need.