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What is Sedation Dentistry and Why Might You Use It?

January 31, 2017
By Paul H. Thai, DDS
Park Dental Eden Prairie

According to a recent survey, somewhere between 9% and 20% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety. This unwarranted fear of the dentist can stem from many reasons, but it often leads to the same result: avoiding the dental chair at all costs.

This is a problem for patients, as skipping regular exams and preventive dental care can result in both physical discomfort, as well as a loss of self-confidence due to the appearance of deteriorating teeth. Fortunately, here at Park Dental we have a solution for those that suffer from dental anxiety. Several of my fellow colleagues and I are pleased to offer sedation dentistry, allowing our apprehensive patients to be treated in utmost comfort.

Sedation, or “sleep”, dentistry refers to the use of medication to help a patient relax during a dental procedure. First discovered in 1846, sedation dentistry has progressed in the past decades to include a wide variety of advanced medications. These may include administration via IV or oral medication, all of which yield excellent results. Since administering medications involves inherent risks, performing sleep dentistry requires advanced education and training. Fortunately, there are currently six doctors at Park Dental spread throughout the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin who are trained and qualified to offer you this service.

I personally only recommend sedation dentistry to those that have severe dental anxiety or phobia and simply cannot tolerate the dental procedure without sedation. Patients with severe gag reflexes or in need of advanced dental surgery are also excellent candidates for sleep dentistry. All of these patients benefit from increased relaxation and comfort, as well as the ability to complete multiple procedures in one appointment. While sedation is an additional cost and is usually not covered by insurance, we offer payment options to help our patients pay for these essential services.

As a dental professional, I also enjoy the efficiency of being able to complete multiple procedures in one appointment, as well as helping calm my patients’ nerves. Nothing is worse than seeing a patient nervous and in pain. Being able to eliminate both these issues in one appointment is extremely rewarding.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, please visit our website page to learn more about the services we offer at Park Dental. You can also search for the Park Dental doctors who offer sedation services by going to the Our Dentists page. Click on the Expertise drop down menu and select IV/Moderate Sedation and click search. We would love to see you at a local practice, so please feel free to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you successfully complete your next visit to the dentist.

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