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Sedation dentistry may help you feel calmer during your dental appointment, but should be seen as extra support on top of the care you receive from your dentist rather than a first port of call – for example, if you find that talking therapy and confident pain relief alone aren't enough to help reduce your anxiety.

Types of Dental Sedation

The three most common sedation methods are:

  1. Oral sedation - anti-anxiety pills taken on the day of a dental appointment, increasing general relaxation and sometimes causing sleepiness.

  2. Inhalational sedation - also known as "happy gas" which you breathe in through a mask. Inhalation sedation can help people feel more relaxed in the chair and can help build confidence and trust.

  3. Intravenous (IV) sedation - the strongest sedation level available. With IV sedation, commonly known as "twilight sedation", you typically won't remember much from the treatment.

None of these techniques involve you “being put to sleep” or losing consciousness. Being put to sleep is called general anaesthesia, or GA for short and is not used at Mindset Dental.

Sedation may be a good option if:

  • You're wanting to relax more during dental treatment

  • You have a fear of needles or specific dental procedures and need assistance during those moments

  • You have an extreme gag reflex or difficulty controlling your movements, and want to make the process of treatment smoother

  • You want to get a large amount of dental work over and done quickly and comfortably

  • You are experiencing pain from your teeth and want relief before giving yourself the time to overcome dental anxiety using psychological techniques

Sedation may not be the right choice for you if:

  • You're more concerned about the sedation than the procedure itself

  • Control and trust are important to you, and you feel the sedation would interfere with those elements of your dental experience

  • You'd like an explanation of each step of the procedure and opportunities to ask questions while it is occurring

  • You're apprehensive about not being able to control what's happening

  • You have a history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse

  • You have anxiety about being given the wrong treatment

  • You have concerns about an impaired memory of your treatment afterwards (happy gas may still be a good option if this is the case)

  • You have a strong aversion to the medications used for sedation (or any medications)

  • Sedation isn't suitable for you due to medical conditions.

What's the verdict?

Sedation can have a place for those who have a strong fear of the dentist, but it’s not for everyone. There is no right or wrong answer. At Mindset Dental we provide both psychological strategies and comfort technologies in addition to sedation, allowing you to decide which best suits your needs as an individual. You know yourself better than anyone else – so trust what your intuition is telling you about whether or not sedation is the best choice for your situation.

For more information about available sedation options, visit our website.


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