Patients who are uncomfortable with needles and drills, have sensitive teeth or gums, or have a strong gag reflex can be helped by dental sedation. After one pill or injection, many patients feel no anxiety or discomfort during treatment. They often have little-or-no memory of the visit.
Sedation allows people to feel comfortable about undergoing complex and lengthy procedures. When under sedation, it can seem to patients that lengthy procedures have lasted for only a few minutes. Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that extensive treatment can be done in only one or two appointments.
Although sedation produces a relaxed state, it does not have the same effect as anesthesia, which is used for most dental procedures. A patient will still require an injection of local anesthesia to eliminate the pain caused by the procedure. Sedation simply helps relieve the nervousness and anxiety that often accompany a visit to the dentist. A patient is usually sedated prior to getting anesthesia to reduce any anxiety about its injection.