Myths Behind Dental Sedation

When most people hear the term “sedation dentistry”, they often associate it with a number of myths and misconceptions. Not only are these myths completely inaccurate, but they’ve been around for so long that they are now mistaken for truth. Luckily, sedation dentistry clinics in Toronto are fully capable of truthfully answering their patients’ questions and effectively dispelling certain falsehoods regarding the use of sedation in its many forms.

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Common Myths about Sedation Dentistry

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths and misconceptions about dental sedation and how it’s practiced in modern dentistry.

Myth #1: All Forms of Dental Sedation Are Exactly the Same

This is completely untrue for a number of reasons, the most obvious one being that if all forms of dental sedation were actually the same, it would be nearly impossible to accommodate the vast majority of patients with different mental and physical needs. There are actually a few different types of dental sedation available today. Dental sedation can be broken down into four distinctive categories: minimal, moderate, deep sedation, as well as general anesthesia. The first three utilize varying degrees of sedation to calm a patient’s nerves and make them feel more relaxed throughout the procedure, whereas the third form usually puts them to sleep.

The type and level of sedation used is contingent upon the following factors:

  • The situation at hand
  • The patient’s current disposition
  • Whether the patient has underlying or pre-existing medical conditions
  • Whether the patient is taking any medications that could negatively interact with the sedative
  • Whether the patient is unable to stay still throughout the duration of the procedure
  • The patient’s pain threshold
  • The nature and length of the procedure itself
  • Whether the patient is pregnant.

In most cases, if the patient is pregnant, then the dentist will most likely not administer a sedative.

Myth #2: Dental Sedation Is Expensive

Actually, in most cases, dental sedation is highly affordable. It all depends on the extent of your dental insurance coverage either through your employer or dental clinic. Many dental clinics do accept insurance payments for this type of service.

Myth #3: Dental Sedation Is Unsafe

There are only a few very specific circumstances under which dental sedation could be considered unsafe and that’s usually left for the dentist to decide. For instance, it’s highly unorthodox for most dentists to administer sedation for pregnant patients because it could be a huge liability risk if the sedative causes any kind of harm to the baby or the patient. Also, you should always advise your dentist of all medications you’re currently taking so that they can determine whether sedation is a suitable option for you. Generally speaking, dental sedation is a safe option because all it really does is relieve your anxiety and make you feel more at ease.

Myth #4: Dental Sedation Is Only for People with Dental Phobia

While dental phobia is a very real phenomenon that many patients and dentists are forced to contend with on a regular basis, that doesn’t mean that the only purpose for dental sedation is to soothe people’s anxieties. The various forms of dental sedation, including nitrous oxide sedation actually serve numerous purposes that pertain to different procedures being performed as well as individual circumstances. Although, the reality is that in some situations, dentists might recommend administering a mild, moderate, or a deep form of sedation to help calm their anxiety-ridden patients.

Myth #5: Dental Sedation Is Only for Major Procedures

This is likely one of those dentistry myths that started because most people often associate sedation with either being asleep or mentally incapacitated. Therefore, most people think that dental sedation can only be administered if a patient is undergoing a major dental treatment or surgery. The fact is, however, not all sedation is the equivalent of general anesthesia, even though anesthesia is certainly a type of sedation. There are varying degrees of sedation, which is something your dentist or doctor should explain to you when they’re reviewing your options with you.

Myth #6: Any Dentist Can Administer Dental Sedation

This couldn’t be further from the truth. In both the U.S. and Canada, there are very specific qualification and training programs that dentists must complete in order to acquire the proper licensing to administer different forms of sedation in their practice. It would be illegal to administer any form of sedation without these certifications, so always ask your dentist for proof of their training before letting them sedate you. That way, you can rest assured (pun intended!) that you’re in good hands.

Myth #7: Dental Sedation Can’t Be Used for Cosmetic Procedures

As mentioned there are several different types of dental sedation and they can all be administered for cosmetic procedures. However, your dentist will have to use their best judgment in each case and advise you accordingly. For most cosmetic procedures, it’s likely that they’ll opt for minimal nitrous oxide sedation because that’s the least invasive form. It also wears off very quickly, which means you can drive yourself home afterward and there’s a very limited recovery time. This form of sedation is usually reserved for routine cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth cleanings, installing bridges, or fillings.

Myth #8: Dental Sedation Always Puts You to Sleep

The only type of dental sedation that’ll completely put you to sleep is general anesthesia, which is usually reserved for more intrusive or potentially painful procedures such as root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, or jaw realignments. Even then, you still have a variety of alternative pain relief or preventative options that your dentist can recommend or explain to you. The point is, though, that not all forms of dental sedation put you to sleep. In fact, in most cases, you’ll be awake and even though you might not recall the exact details of the procedure itself, you should be able to comprehend what’s happening throughout and respond to any questions or statements.

Choose a Sedation Dentistry Clinic in Toronto

Princeview Dental Group is a dental clinic in Toronto that offers sedation and sleep dentistry. Conveniently located in the heart of the Kingsway, we’ve been providing various forms of dental sedation for our patients and performing all kinds of dental procedures for more than 20 years. To learn more about our clinic or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (416) 231-4562.

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