Sedation Dentistry: So Dental Anxiety Doesn't Prevent You From Getting the Care You Need

Dentophobia, which is the fear of going to the dentist, affects people of all ages and backgrounds. If you fear going to the dentist, and you avoid regular cleanings and exams, you could end up with cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, rotting teeth, and other painful oral health conditions. 

Fortunately, Ali Khosrovani, DDS, at A Briter Smile in Los Angeles uses sedation dentistry to help patients who have fear or anxiety regarding dental visits. With sedation dentistry, you can get your teeth cleaned or oral problem treated while the sedative relaxes you or puts you to sleep. Here’s everything you need to know about sedation dentistry.

What types of sedation are used?

Dr. Ali will recommend the best option based on the treatment you’re undergoing, your overall health, and how you feel about dental procedures. 

Nitrous oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a chemical that you inhale through a mask. It’s the most common form of sedation used at dental offices.

Local anesthesia

This type of sedation prevents a certain area of your mouth from feeling pain. First, Dr. Ali numbs the area with a topical agent, and then he injects the anesthesia into your mouth or gums. 

Enteral sedation

This is a pill or liquid you take orally. You’ll remain awake, but enteral sedation makes you drowsy and relaxed, so you won’t be nervous about your dental procedure. 

IV sedation

Similar to enteral sedation, IV sedation relaxes you, but it doesn’t put you to sleep. Dr. Ali injects the sedative into your vein, and it starts working quickly.

General anesthesia

This type of sedation puts you to sleep for the duration of your procedure.

Who can get sedation dentistry? 

Anyone who feels anxious, fearful, intimidated, or otherwise emotionally uncomfortable while at the dentist can benefit from some level of sedation dentistry. 

General anesthesia is usually reserved for patients who experience extreme anxiety or for patients who are undergoing major dental procedures, such as root canals. If you aren’t undergoing a major procedure, and you only experience minor anxiety or discomfort, Dr. Ali will likely suggest laughing gas or local anesthesia. 

Your overall health plays a role in the decision to administer any sort of anesthesia, and Dr. Ali will discuss the best options with you.

To see if sedation dentistry can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with A Briter Smile today.

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