Unfortunately, many people avoid the dentist out of fear. Often that fear arises from a negative experience that happened years ago—sometimes as far back as childhood, when dentistry was not nearly as advanced as it is today. With modern sedation dentistry techniques, reluctant patients in need of a checkup or dental procedure can put that fear to rest and find their way back to the dentist.

The ultimate goal of sedation is to offer the patient a comfortable experience without resorting to a general anesthetic. In sedation dentistry, the patient actually remains conscious, although he will not be aware of the treatment, nor will he remember it later.

Patients can choose from a variety of sedation dentistry techniques. Recently, many patients have opted for needle-free sedation, also known as oral sedation, in which the patient takes an anti-anxiety pill or a substance that induces a hypnosis-like state. That medication is absorbed through the stomach than distributed throughout the bloodstream. Another, more traditional, method is IV sedation, where the medication is delivered directly into the bloodstream.

Dallas patients can take advantage of sedation dentistry for procedures ranging from cleanings to extractions. Sedation dentistry can be a particularly beneficial to patients in need of complex, lengthy treatments.

It’s also important to note that, while sedation dentistry is often referred to as “sleep dentistry,” you do not actually fall asleep during the process, although you may feel drowsy.

Maintaining good oral health is essential to overall wellness, so you should visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup that can identify any potential problems. If you do experience anxiety about visiting your dentist, you might consider scheduling an introductory appointment when you can discuss your concerns with your dentist and create a plan for sedation with your care.

Even if you haven’t visited a dentist in years, there’s no need to be ashamed. It only takes one appointment to get back on the right dental track, and knowing that sedation is available may motivate you to schedule and keep that appointment.