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According to the organization DOCS, 30% of the population avoids going to the dentist due to extreme fear of the dentist. If your dental phobia is keeping you from getting much needed dental work, it may be time to consider sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is the practice of using sedative drugs in order to relax or put you in a near-sleep state during dental procedures. These medications are usually administered through IV (a small needle in your arm), or inhalation through a gas (like laughing gas).

Oral sedation dentistry is now the most common technique used in the United States and Canada to quell patient fears. The technique is easy and requires no needles. It allows patients to be semi-conscious during procedures so they can cooperate and participate without fear. Sedation is usually used in conjuncture with local injected anesthesia in order to make the pain felt as little as possible.

There are many benefits to using sedation during dental procedures. The most obvious is the significant decrease in pain felt. Also, patients getting a significant amount of work done will feel as if they were only in a procedure for a short period of time, when in reality the procedure may have taken several hours. Being able to attend to multiple needs in one sitting allows the dentist to perform more work at once, thus decreasing the number of sessions needed to complete the work. Individuals who have sedation during treatments are more likely to attend to routine oral needs and regular dental appointments, as their fear of dentistry decreases. Insurance will sometimes pay for some or all of the cost of sedation when the procedure is deemed medically necessary.

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