What is a sedation dentist?

A sedation dentist is a traditional dentist who uses sedation techniques to make dental work a less stressful experience for individuals who are excessively apprehensive about dentists and dental procedures. A sedation dentist can sometimes go by other names, with sedation dentistry being called anxiety-free dentistry, conscious sedation dentistry, pain-free dentistry, relaxation dentistry or sleep dentistry.

A sedation dentist can use a variety of medications to help calm a patient during procedures. These medications include nitrous-oxide (laughing gas), intravenous tranquilizers and anti-anxiety medications, and most recently, non-injection medications that put the patient into a state so relaxed that they have little awareness of what is going on, and generally do not remember the procedure once it is over. It is important to note that most sedation dentist techniques are designed to relax the patient, and do not have a pain killing effect. Thus, once the sedation is accomplished and the patient is sufficiently comfortable, local anesthetic is given to block pain. In extreme situations, a sedation dentist can use general anesthesia in order to put the patient fully to sleep during a procedure, particularly during oral surgery and other very invasive procedures.

At a sedation dentist they use a certified dentist anesthesiologist, medical anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist in order to perform conscious or total sedation during dental procedures. Such specialists received special training and are board certified. A sedation dentist is often chosen by persons with high levels of anxiety over dental procedures. A sedation dentist can also be a good choice for children who are seriously uncooperative with a traditional dentist.

Dr. James Russo is a pain-free sedation dentist serving San Leandro, CA for over 27 years


Posted in: Dental Care Options


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