Oral Sedation Dentistry

About Oral Sedation Services

Helping With Dental Fears

Sedation Dentistry, sometimes called Relaxation Dentistry, refers to the way dentists manage Pain and Anxiety during dental appointments. Unlike General Anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond,  patients under Conscious Sedation, are able to respond to commands and breath on their own. 

Our Tempe dental office offers two forms of sedation dentistry.

Oral Conscious Sedation: Orally Administered Sedation, sometimes called  "Sedation Dentistry" is administered by taking a pill. All body functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on their own. Some degree of amnesia is common. The disadvantage of this method of sedation is that the level of sedation for each person is not predictable.  The patient is NOT allowed to drive when they have taken an oral sedation medication. They are required to have somebody drive them to and from the appointment. 

Inhalation Sedation: Nitrous Oxide is also known as "laughing gas". This is the most frequently used sedation method used in dentistry. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on their own. The patient may experience some degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment. Inhalation Sedation has been used dentists for many years. The patient IS able to drive to and from the appointment when using nitrous oxide during dental procedures. 

What Is Oral Sedation for Dentistry?

Oral sedation utilizes medications to help patients relax when they are in the dentist’s chair. In many cases, patients simply need to take a small pill directly before the appointment. The purpose of oral sedation dentistry is to help those who suffer from extreme dental anxiety get the treatment they need. In some cases, the patient will fall asleep, allowing them to wake up feeling refreshed and with a healthier smile.

Who Is a Candidate for Oral Sedation?

There are numerous reasons why people develop phobias of the dentist’s office. Some individuals had a bad experience when they were younger. Others have a general fear of loud noises or needles, and some people experience a powerful gag reflex when dental tools go in their mouths.  All of these are valid explanations for having dental fears, but you should not allow them to get in the way of your health. 

The fear becomes so bad for some people that they simply avoid seeing the dentist at all costs. This is bad for your health in several ways. Seeing the dentist once every six months allows you to know precisely what is going on with your oral health. You have a far greater risk of developing cavities and gum disease if you delay these visits. Oral sedation dentistry gives you peace of mind.

How Oral Sedation Works

Anyone who knows they have dental anxiety should inform the office staff. You can let your dentist know you are interested in oral sedation. At this point, your blood pressure will be checked along with your medical history to ensure you are in fact a good candidate. The dentist will then prescribe an antianxiety medication.  You will take one or two pills roughly an hour before your appointment to allow you to relax. Usually, the doctor will have you bring the extra pills with you in case you need more.

It is vital to remember you cannot drive after taking this medication. That means you will need someone to drive you to and from the dentist’s office, and it cannot be an Uber, Lyft, or taxi.  This individual will also need to write down any information our dentist provides, such as how you need to start taking care of your teeth at home because you will likely not remember.

What Are The Benefits of Oral Sedation?

There are many outstanding advantages to gain from sedation. The primary benefit is that you get a chance to rest during the procedure. You effectively go to sleep for the duration of the procedure only to wake up with a healthy smile and feeling refreshed. This is conscious sedation, so you can respond to commands and breathe on your own.

Another great benefit to enjoy is that you save time on more extensive actions, such as treatments for periodontal disease. You may need to schedule several different times to come into the dentist’s office to complete a procedure. If you are busy with work, then it may be hard to schedule multiple days off within a span of a few weeks. With oral sedation dentistry, you will be comfortable enough to get multiple treatments done in one sitting, allowing you to save both time and money.

Who Can Perform Oral Sedation Dentistry?

When it comes to nitrous oxide, most dentists have the training necessary to administer it. For oral sedation alone, most dentists can administer this type as well.  However, if oral sedation AND nitrous oxide are used simultaneously, you need a dentist who is additional training and monitoring equipment to administer it safely. At our Tempe dental practice, we can use the nitrous oxide alone or oral sedation alone.  Both are very effective methods of sedation for most patients, depending on the level of anxiety. We will help you to choose which is right for you.

Contact Tempe Smile Design

Our team firmly believes everyone should have access to first-class dental care. You should never allow your fears and anxieties to prevent you from keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Our team will be happy to discuss the details of sedation with you further, and before you know it, we will be able to transform your smile into something beautiful and healthy. Contact us to learn more about oral sedation dentistry.



Tempe Smile Design
Dr. Stacy Tracy & Dr. Roxane Huber

1712 E Guadalupe Road, Suite 109
Tempe, AZ 85283
Phone: (480) 829-8200
Fax: (480) 967-5252
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