Sedation Dentistry

Enjoy Your Next Dental Visit with Sedation Dentistry

Are you afraid of the dentist? We’re not talking about thoughts like, “Well, I’d rather not have to go to the dentist,” or, “I could live without the sound of the drill,” or, “Those needles kind of creep me out.” What we mean is fear to the point where you may be neglecting your oral health. Then sedation dentistry may be just for you.

We know that there is no point in telling you that there is nothing to be afraid of, because on some level, you already know that. But if your fear is such that it is keeping you out of Dr. Headley’s chair, there are measures that we can take to ease your apprehension. Perhaps you have heard of sedation dentistry, but you think it means being knocked out while your dental treatment is being carried out, and you are not overly fond of that idea either. The fact is, sedation dentistry has been used in the United States for over 50 years, and it does not involve having you “put under.”

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Dental work, in some circumstances, can be strenuous, time-consuming and uncomfortable. Often, complicated procedures could take several appointments, and your dentist does not want to cause you undue stress. What if you could be totally relaxed and, just as an example, have all your wisdom teeth extracted in a single visit instead of having to come back? It’s less time in the chair, less expensive, and far less stressful, that’s a fact.

Or let us say that you have a very strong gag reflex, or you are resistant to local anesthetic. It can be difficult to get the work that you need completed in just one visit. And then, of course, there is the matter of fear. If you ask a fearful patient if they would prefer to have the work done in a single visit, or over several appointments, they will usually look at you as if you are out of your mind and say, “Well, ONE.” And with sedation dentistry, it is possible. It does not mean you are cowardly. It means you know your limitations, and you are being sensible.

In the final analysis, you are the person who determines your comfort level, not the dentist. And if you feel that sedation would make your dental experience more bearable, just tell us. Don’t fall for any misconceptions you have heard about sedation dentistry.

The Procedure

The type of sedation you have probably heard about most often is nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas. It is something of a misnomer because you are not going to laugh uncontrollably, or even get a case of the giggles. You will simply be very relaxed. You will be alert, and you will know exactly what is going on, but you won’t be troubled by it. For this reason, nitrous oxide is known as conscious sedation.

Oral sedation is another type of conscious sedation. With oral conscious sedation, your dentist provides you with a pill that relaxes you. This is highly beneficial for patients who are “needle phobic,” so they are relaxed to the point where they no longer fear the needle, and the dentist is able to work on them for longer periods of time. Another benefit to oral sedation is that because the sedation remains in the patient’s system for some time after the treatment, the likelihood of post-treatment pain is dramatically reduced.

Following sedation dentistry, you may not even remember the time spent in the chair. If you feel you might be a good candidate, give our dentist practice a call.

Contact Us

If you are apprehensive about dental treatment, sedation dentistry can help. If you feel you are a patient who could benefit from sedation dentistry, call our dentist, Dr. Headley in Overland Park at 913-491-6874 to learn more about the benefits, or request a consultation using the form on our Contact Us page. For any unanswered questions, read our FAQs page or take our quiz to test your knowledge!

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Jennifer Fisher

I love having a beautiful smile. I think instead of cosmetic dentistry, it should be referred to as “Confidence Dentistry.” When you feel confident with your smile it affects the way you interact with people.” As a former Miss Kansas and TV news anchor, I know with certainty my “Confidence Smile” smile made all the difference. There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not happy that I have beautiful teeth.”

Lindsey Jo
Miss Oklahoma

As Miss Oklahoma USA 2008® Lindsey Jo credits her beautiful smile for being 1st runner up at the 2008 Miss USA®. “Having the extra confidence from every camera angle made all the difference,” says Lindsey Jo. “I don’t think I would have done as well without my beautiful smile. Thank you Dr. Headley!”



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