San Ramon Cosmetic Dentistry Blog | Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S.

San Ramon, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and Dublin, CA

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

If you feel that the right dentist and psychological techniques alone won’t do the trick for you, have a look at the available pharmacological options for coping with dental anxiety.

These are not recommended for use instead of, but in addition to a caring dentist. Trust your gut instinct while figuring out which methods might work for you.
Sedation is sometimes touted as “the solution for overcoming dental anxiety or phobia”, but in reality, many people don’t like the idea of sedation. Scores on dental anxiety tests bear little or no correlation to the need for (or desirability of) sedation.

Sedation may not be a good option if:
  • control and trust are a major issue for you
  • you’re considering sedation to “make life easier” for your dentist, for example because you fear that they will get frustrated or angry with you
  • you feel you would benefit from a gentle approach which would involve being talked through procedures, going at your pace, and using stop signals
  • you feel you’re being “bullied” into accepting sedation
  • you have an intense dislike for or fear of the drugs used for sedation (or the psych pharmaceutical industry in general)
  • you’re worried that sedation will interfere with your judgment and your ability to communicate your concerns to your dentist
Types of Dental Sedation
The 2 most common forms of sedation on offered in Dr. Andersons office is:
  1. Inhalation sedation (also known as “laughing gas”, “happy gas”, nitrous oxide, “gas and air”, relative analgesia)
·        Nitrous oxide works very rapidly – it reaches the brain within 20 seconds, and relaxation and pain-killing properties develop after 2 or 3 minutes.
·        You can safely drive home and don’t need an escort.

  1. Oral sedation (anti-anxiety pills or a liquid)
·        Has a fixed duration of action (because the effects of pills or intravenous drugs last for a specific time span)
·        If you’re a good candidate for oral sedation, Dr. Anderson will select an appropriate anti-anxiety or sedative drug for you to take at a pre-determined time before your appointment. These safe, widely-prescribed drugs diminish anxiety and help patients relax.
·        When you choose oral sedation, you must have a responsible adult who can drive you to and from your appointment and spend some time with you after the appointment until the sedative wears off completely.

None of these involve “being put to sleep”; even though advertisements for “sleep dentistry” Being put to sleep is called general anaesthesia.

“Sleep Dentistry” – Mixed Feelings
There can be a conflict between your dental fears, on the one hand, and your need for control on the other. If you choose sedation, this can pretty much eliminate your anxiety about discomfort from the dental procedures, if that’s what you’re afraid of. Or, if you’re afraid of a panic attack while sitting in the dentist’s chair, sedation might eliminate that fear, too. But if you worried about not being in control of proceedings, “sleep dentistry” may be a hindrance rather than a help. It may be worth discussing inhalation sedation (laughing gas) with Dr. Anderson  if you don’t like the idea of loss of memory for the procedure, and if some sense of control is important to you.

Dr. Anderson  will consult with you to determine your anxiety level and decide whether oral sedation is safe for you, based on medical history and present health conditions. Each room at Dr. Andersons can be equipped with Nitrous Oxide to meet your relaxation and sedation needs if you are not a candidate for oral sedation.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to dental sedation. Dr. Anderson is quite happily offer both psychological methods and sedation side by side.  Make sure Dr. Anderson and or staff knows your preferences!

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in the San Ramon, California area, please contact us today.

posted by Francine at 2:38 PM


Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S
Neuromuscular & Aesthetic Cosmetic Dentistry

1501 Bollinger Canyon Road Suite G
San Ramon, CA 94583

Disclaimer: San Ramon, CA cosmetic dentist Dr. Sean Anderson's website only provides information on cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and family dentistry in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton , Walnut Creek
and the San Ramon area south of San Francisco. This information is not to be taken as medical advice.
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