Targeting Myths About Sedation Dentistry

Posted by Steven Lim Joseph Fields Sep 02, 2022

This is a thumbnail image of blog Targeting Myths About Sedation Dentistry

One of two things can happen when patients are scared of visiting the dentist. While some patients may skip their dental appointments, even if they only involve the most basic procedure, others may ask the dentist about oral, nitrous oxide, or IV sedation dentistry in Reno.  

If you’re considering dental sedation, you’ll want to know the facts to make the best decision about your oral health. We’re here to set the record straight by dispelling the biggest misconceptions about this treatment.

Sedation Dentistry: Myths and Facts

MYTH #1: “Local anesthesia is the only form of sedation.”

Local anesthesia is a type of medication that dentists use to prevent pain in a specific area of the mouth to ensure patient comfort during treatment. Furthermore, the dentist injects the anesthetic agent into the gum line to numb it.

However, the choices to ensure a comfortable and pain-free dental procedure aren’t limited to local anesthesia. Although local anesthesia alone may provide patients with enough pain relief for limited procedures, it’s often used with other sedation dentistry methods such as oral, nitrous oxide, or intravenous (IV) sedation.

While oral sedation involves taking medication the night before your dental appointment, nitrous oxide sedation or laughing gas is given in the dental chair via a small nosepiece that sits on the nose. Moreover, IV sedation involves the administration of sedative agents through a needle inserted into a vein.  

Your dental care provider will assess your medical history and overall health condition to determine the right choice and dosage of the sedatives used for your dental procedure.

MYTH #2: “Sedation dentistry is only good for patients with dental phobias.”

Dental professionals highly recommend sedation dentistry for patients who feel overly anxious or worried about their appointment due to fear of the dentist, needles, injections, or the sound of drills. However, sedation dentistry can also benefit those who must undergo complex, lengthy, or uncomfortable surgical procedures such as implant surgery.  

Moreover, patients with low pain tolerance, strong gag reflex, sensitive teeth, and involuntary body movements associated with limiting health conditions can also benefit from dental sedation.

MYTH #3: “Dental sedation will knock you out.”  

It’s worth noting that the effects of different sedatives can vary, depending on the patient. What works for one person might not be appropriate for another. However, no sedation method can make you lose consciousness or be unaware of your surroundings.  

While all forms of good sedatives can effectively block the pain, anxiety, or fear you might feel as your dentist works on your teeth, none of them can knock you off completely.

MYTH #4: “Dental sedation methods offer the same level of sedation.”

Dentists use varying levels of sedation dentistry based on their patient’s unique needs. Before administering the sedative agents, dentists consider several factors, including the patient’s level of anxiety, health history, personal preferences, and the type and length of the procedure.

Furthermore, patients receiving nitrous oxide sedation remain conscious throughout the procedure. Depending on the dosage, those who take sedation medication orally before the procedure may experience minimal, moderate, and deep sedation. Minimal oral sedation keeps patients awake in a dreamlike state. Although moderate and deep oral sedation may make them fall asleep, it should be easy for the dentist to wake them. They should also be able to follow the dentist’s instructions during the procedure.  

With IV sedation, patients will be semi-conscious with little or no memory of the actual dental procedure.

MYTH #5: “All patients are good candidates for dental sedation.”

No, sedation dentistry isn’t for everyone. Certain conditions may limit a patient’s chances of undergoing dental sedation. For this reason, dentists perform a thorough medical investigation before moving forward with the treatment. Generally, this treatment isn’t recommended for pregnant or nursing patients, patients with allergies to the sedatives being used, patients who have had radiation therapies in the past, and patients who have problems with their nervous system.

MYTH #6: “Sedation dentistry isn’t recommended for children and seniors.”

Most parents are concerned about using dental sedation for their kids. However, dental care experts confirm that no age group has a monopoly over this type of treatment. In other words, sedation dentistry can be safely used for children to help them relax while the dentist operates on their teeth.  

Likewise, older adults suffering from dental anxiety, panic attacks, or discomfort can enjoy the benefits of sedation dentistry. However, their dentist has to ensure their safety by checking their medical history and overall health before administering the sedatives.

MYTH #7: “Dental sedation causes harm to every patient.”

While sedation dentistry is considered safe for most patients, it could be unsafe for someone who isn’t a good candidate for sedation. However, it won’t compromise the patient’s safety when done right.

For these reasons, dental professionals insist that every patient shares their past medical history, a list of medications they’re currently taking, and details of any radiation treatments they may have undergone. Unless the dentist conducts a thorough medical health analysis of their patient, they won’t be able to determine whether or not the patient is a candidate for sedation dentistry.  

MYTH #8: “Sedation dentistry will cure dental fears and phobias.”

Since dental sedation helps patients feel less anxious and more optimistic about an upcoming dental procedure, many people mistakenly believe it can cure all dental fears and phobias. However, getting over these issues requires a lot of hard work.  

Besides seeing a skilled, experienced, and reliable dentist, patients struggling with dental fears and phobias need to work with trained professionals to address these problems. Although sedation is an excellent tool and a helpful aid, it won’t cure your phobia.

Learn More About Oral, Nitrous Oxide, and IV Sedation Dentistry in Reno!  

Whether sedation dentistry is new to you or you want a better understanding, taking to a trusted and reliable dentist can help you separate facts from the fiction so you can make an informed decision about your oral health.

At Smile Design Implant Center, we want to make our patients feel comfortable from when they come in to when they leave. Besides being dedicated to giving them a perfect smile, we make sure they understand why it’s crucial to have one and how to take excellent care of it for the rest of their lives. If you’re ready to achieve your best smile, please don’t hesitate to contact our office today to make an appointment.

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.


748 South Meadows Parkway #A8,
Reno, NV 89521

Office Hours

MON - THU7:00 am - 4:00 pm

FRI - SUNClosed