How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?


Dental phobia’s or the fear of the dentist is quite common among children and adults, causing them to frequently skip appointments or completely avoid visiting the dentist all together.

In a global study conducted by DentaVox, out of 16,000 respondents, they found that 61{9f09320f667d4c06b011c33cbd5f998531690fa14585a4521401ddd724b9ed96} suffer from dental phobias, with the majority being afraid of the pain associated with dental procedures.

Thankfully, offering Sedation Dentistry can help address these dental phobia’s.  Sedation Dentistry uses different methods and medication to help patients relax during their dental procedures and can be administered through inhalation, oral consumption, or IV.

What are the types of sedation dentistry?

There are three levels of sedation:

  • Inhalation – Minimal sedation using nitrous oxide helps patients relax
  • Oral Consumption – Moderate to deep sedation through the consumption of pills where patients are hardly aware of the procedure
  • Intravenous – General anesthesia that makes patients completely unconscious

For patients that have mild dental phobias, the use of nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ is the most suitable.  The patient breathes in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen via a mask, which the dentist is able to control as needed for the procedure.  When inhaled, it slows down the body’s response time, leaving the patient in a calm, relaxed state.  The effects of nitrous oxide gas do not last very long, so there is little to no post treatment recovery.

When sedation is administered orally, it’s ideal for patients with moderate dental phobia’s, with the level of sedation depending on the dosage of the medication.  Patients are asked to take medication about thirty minutes before the procedure begins and will experience some drowsiness but will remain conscious.

The last method of sedation is for patients with the most extreme dental phobia’s.  By administering general anesthesia intravenously into the patient’s bloodstream, it allows the patient to be fully unconscious during their dental treatment.  Our Anesthesiologist will monitor your blood pressure, oxygen levels, and pulse to ensure there is no negative reaction to the sedation.  After the procedure, you will feel a bit groggy and tired, which is why it is advisable for a family member or friend to drive you home after the treatment.

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry can often be the solution to most patients’ dental fears, allowing them to be more calm and relaxed during their procedures.  The benefits of sedation dentistry is:

  • More Comfortable Treatment – patients with a low pain tolerance will be able to tolerate their dental treatments easier and more comfortably
  • Relieves Anxiety – usually stemming from a childhood or past negative experience with dental treatments or a dentist
  • Ease of Treatment – for patients that cannot control their gag reflex when a dentist needs to work deep in their oral cavity, a relaxed patients makes the treatment easier
  • Faster Procedure Time – the dentist can work faster which is great for younger children and adults who will be unable to sit still during the treatment
  • Fewer Appointments – for extensive procedures that will require multiple appointments, sedation allows treatment to be completed faster and more efficiently

Sedation dentistry is quick, painless, and a highly effective method for calming the nerves of nervous patients, especially children who are fidgety and cannot sit still.  It allows your dentist to carry out the treatment smoothly as you lay in the chair, relaxed or asleep, and is great for patients who have a low pain tolerance, a bad gag reflex, or those who need to have a lot of work done.

At Go Dental, we want our patients to be comfortable and relaxed during their dental appointments.  If you are an anxious patient or suffer from dental fears or phobia’s and need to have a dental procedure done, please Contact Us on 04-397-9522 at any time to book a consultation with our General Dentists or click here.