Sedation Dentistry


What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of sedative medications in the form of pills given orally (or under the tongue) before your dental visit that are primarily designed to make you relaxed, comfortable and manage dental fear which may be keeping you from the treatment you need. Many patients who come in for prophylaxis (cleanings) often put off routine treatment for years because they are afraid, and there are many people who simply avoid going to the dentist altogether out of fear and anxiety and only seek emergency treatment when their pain becomes unbearable. When they discover that they can have their dentistry performed while they are sedated–without the use of an IV needle–people become much more likely to get the preventive and restorative treatment they need and avoid “lurching” from one inconvenient dental emergency to another. Sedation dentistry is very safe since does not “put you to sleep”, but very effectively relaxes and calms you without loosing consciousness. Depending upon the length of the appointment, your health status, and the degree of sedation desired, we will customize your sedation medications and dosages to achieve either anxiolysis (anti-anxiety) or conscious sedation (deeper levels of sedation). A number of oral agents developed especially for these purposes, subjected to rigorous research and testing, are safe and have been used for decades. Many of these drugs have “amnesic” properties, meaning that patients remember little to nothing on their time in the dental chair by the next day.

Which patients benefit the most from sedation?

Oral sedation dentistry can benefit a wide range of patients, including people with:

  • High dental anxiety and fear (the chief use of anxiolysis or sedation)
  • A severe gag reflex (the drugs reduce this reflex)
  • Time constraints — those who need lots of dentistry done in a few long visits
  • Chronic or acute jaw soreness
  • Physical limitations such as back and neck problems
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • A reluctance to complete previously started treatment plans
  • Extensive treatment needs
  • A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are fully relaxed

Dr. Langberg has had a great deal of additional post graduate education and practice in administering and utilizing anxiolysis and conscious sedation to deliver sedation dentistry to anxious or fearful patients. He has the latest training to best select the drugs appropriate for your individual needs, as well as all the tools and monitoring equipment on hand to provide maximum safety for your anxiety-free appointment. He is a participating member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. Please feel free to discuss your needs and concerns with Dr. Langberg by phone or in person. He feels privileged to help in whatever way he can with proven sedation protocols to enhance your safety, relaxation and comfort.