Sedation Dentistry for Teeth Cleanings

By Burton Gooch on October 06, 2020


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Sedation dentistry is a good option for patients who are undergoing lengthy or complex dental procedures. But did you know you can also opt for sedation during hygiene appointments? 

Unfortunately, many individuals forego necessary dental care due to anxiety. If you are fearful about visiting the dentist, our Birmingham, AL, team can help. Sedation dentistry induces a relaxed state of mind so patients can enjoy a more comfortable, less stressful dental experience. Here, our team at Gooch Family Dental discusses sedation dentistry for teeth cleanings and explains what patients can expect during their visit.

When Is Sedation Recommended for Teeth Cleanings?

There are several reasons why individuals may benefit from sedation during teeth cleanings. This option may be especially beneficial for those with:

  • A history of traumatic dental experiences
  • Extreme dental sensitivity
  • A severe gag reflex
  • Difficulty controlling movements
  • Special needs, such as Alzheimer’s disease, seizure disorders, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, and more

In addition, sedation dentistry can be used simply because patients want to be more comfortable during their appointment. With the dental technology available today, our Birmingham, AL, team believes that all individuals deserve to feel relaxed and calm during their visits. If you have questions or concerns about undergoing sedation, our doctors can address them during a consultation at our practice.

What Type of Sedation Should I Choose?

At Gooch Family Dental, we offer two primary types of sedation: nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. We will briefly discuss the differences between the two:

  • Nitrous oxide: Also called laughing gas, this sedative is inhaled through a small nose piece. The effects are fast-acting, and the dosage can be adjusted throughout the procedure. Once the treatment is complete, the medication is fully flushed from the system within 15 minutes. Nitrous oxide is best suited for individuals with mild dental anxiety. 
  • Oral conscious sedation: This medication is given approximately 30 to 60 minutes prior to your dental cleaning. It makes patients feel sleepy and induces a state of deep relaxation. Though oral conscious sedation offers a deeper level of sedation compared to nitrous oxide, patients will still be able to communicate with the dentist or hygienist as necessary. Due to the nature of this medication, patients need to have a trusted friend or family member drive them home.

Personalized Treatment for Optimal Care

While the majority of patients can undergo a dental cleaning with minimal stress or anxiety, some are nervous about the procedure due to various factors, including negative past experiences. Sedation dentistry ensures that patients can enjoy the most comfortable experience possible. In cases of severe anxiety, nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation can be combined. Ask your dentist which option is right for you.

Learn More about Sedation Dentistry

If you avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety, talk to our Birmingham, AL, team about sedation dentistry. We can work with you to find a solution for your unique oral health needs. To learn more, schedule an appointment at Gooch Family Dental. Contact us online or call our office at (205) 545-8001.

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"I have never received such individual attention and care, from the moment I walked in the door through the entire cleaning and exam. A completely comfortable and satisfying experience. I look forward to having Dr. Gooch's team take care of my dental health for years to come."

Amber L.

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6807 Tattersall Way
Birmingham, AL 35242

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