Dental Sedation

5 Helpful Relaxation Tips From a Sedation Dentist

A large number of people with dental issues are postponing or avoiding their treatment altogether because of their strong anxiety related to the dental treatment. Fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias, and professionals in the industry have been trying to work around this problem for decades. 

Nowadays, dental treatments are less invasive than before, pain is managed more effectively and there are plenty of safe sedation options. Sedation dentistry gives access to treatment for patients with anxiety, mental or physical disability, children, and the elderly. 

However, in some cases, sedation is not an option, or patients want to go with a milder form of sedation for their intervention. In these cases, learning a few relaxation techniques can be extremely helpful. Here are 5 tips from a sedation dentist who will teach us how to stay cool during dental treatment. 

Breathe Deeply

Breathing helps more than you think, especially if you practice some deep breathing techniques. Breathing steady and slowly and focusing on breathing “from your belly” can alleviate anxiety symptoms and get your mind out of the “fight or flight” response mechanism. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness means being aware of your sensations in the present and trying to avoid lingering thoughts about the past or future. Anxiety has a lot to do with how you perceive past experiences and the scenarios you create in your mind in the anticipation of a triggering event. 

Mindfulness will help you stay in the moment and control your response. Acknowledge everything you can see, smell, touch and hear in the cabinet, and focus on the sensations alone. 

Ask Questions 

Knowing what’s about to happen is very helpful in controlling anxiety when getting medical care. Doctors, besides being highly trained, have good people skills and they usually know how to soothe their patients. If you are unsure about anything and your doctor did not mention it already, don’t hesitate to ask any questions. 

Listen to Music

Music can be therapeutic, and it’s often used in dentist cabinets to calm down the patients. You can ask if you can use headphones and listen to your favorite music while you are receiving treatment.

Ask for Breaks

Something as simple as requesting a break when you feel overwhelmed can be very helpful when you are receiving medical treatment. Be sure to let your dentist know that you have anxiety issues before your appointment to give them a chance to reserve more time for you. 

St. Louis Sedation Dentist

Trying these techniques can do wonders next time you’re in the dentist’s chair, and it’s worth giving them a shot, as any relief, as small as it may be, will help you get the dental care you need. 

Talk to your dentist about all the options you have for overcoming the anxiety and pick a dental office where your anxiety is taken seriously. 

If you live in the St. Louis region give us a call at (314) 862-7844 to learn more!

Dental Sedation

The Important Role Your Dental Team Plays in Dental Sedation


The benefits that sedation dentistry can bring to some patients are undeniable and have been discussed quite a lot recently, with dental offices trying to create a comfortable and friendly environment for their clients. One of the most common questions regarding sedation is just how safe it is.

Parents, patients with chronic illnesses or caregivers to senior citizens are most concerned about possible complications following sedation, and it is perfectly understandable that they want reassurement regarding the quality of the medical protocols. We would like to shed light on quality control and what can patients do before a procedure that involves sedation, so that risks are kept to a minimum.

What Is Sedation Used for in Dentistry?

First of all, to understand what is expected of sedation in a dental office, it’s good to know what it is exactly. Some patients believe that sedation refers to the painkillers or local anesthetic that they might have been given at the dentist’s office. Sedation is different as it addresses anxiety mostly. It is very useful to patients who are having trouble staying still or remaining calm during a dental procedure: people with exacerbated dentist associated anxiety, small children, people with certain disabilities, senior citizens who suffer neurological or other conditions, etc.

If you are the right candidate for sedation dentistry, your doctor has probably suggested it to you for more complex dental procedures. If you feel a bit uncertain about the safety of the procedure, here is a short presentation of the regulation system for sedation dentistry.

Role of the Dental Team in Sedation Dentistry

The role of a dentist in the team that is treating you can be: sedationist, dentist, or both. Dentists are trained to administer conscious sedation, so anything other than general anesthesia can generally be performed by a dentist. The requirements vary from state to state, but they basically imply graduating a special course. In Missouri, for example, dentists need to complete a board-approved, plus a minimum of 15 hours of training on medical emergencies and possible complications from sedatives.

In most states, any moderate to high sedation procedure must be done by a fully trained and qualified team. At least two members other than the sedationist must be trained to monitor patients and the sedationist must have a permit before giving their patients sedatives.

Proper patient investigation and examination must be done before the procedure, and the dentist must get a relevant picture of the patient’s medical history. If you feel like your doctor has not treated this step thoroughly enough, you can express your concern to them and even ask for a second opinion on it. Make sure you are given verbal or written instructions covering your preparation at home and ask anything seems unclear to you before the procedure.

Dentistry has advanced a lot in the last decade, and patients can have a truly relaxing and comfortable experience on the dentist’s chair. However, it is wise and perfectly acceptable to check the qualification of the dentist before you go ungo sedation for a dental procedure.

Pediatric Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry for Kids: Is It Safe?


Sedation dentistry is a very effective solution in performing oral health treatments and procedures to patients who are overly anxious about going to the dentist. And it’s generally safe. The doctor calculates with mathematical precision the amount of anesthetic one needs to feel relaxed during the treatment.


While for adults sedation is a way of managing their fears, when it comes to kids, this practice may become a necessity, especially when it comes to lengthy procedures. Children simply do not have the self-control and patience needed to sit still for long periods. Not to mention, the instruments and sounds can be so intimidating even to adults. So, doctors use sedation to ensure their safety.


Your St. Louis sedation dentist will tell you prior to the treatment that sedatives can have an effect on primary body functions, such as breathing. Parents often worry about what could happen if the effects of the sedatives become uncontrollable.


Here’s what you need to know.


Risk Factors of Sedation Dentistry for Children

While a lot of people’s fear of the dentist is unfounded, worrying about the possible side effects of sedation is entirely justified, especially when it comes to children. Their airways are smaller than a teenager or an adult’s, increasing the risk of obstruction.

With young children, studies show that they are, indeed, more prone to suffering from dangerous side effects. However, the same studies conclude that adverse events are successfully kept under controlled by the medical staff.


Should We Sedate Children During Dental Procedures?

While there are a few risks associated with sedation that parents should be aware of, they are almost always kept in check by the medical staff. When drawing the line, at least statistically, the benefits of sedation dentistry exceed the risks. What a parent should know is that an experienced St. Louis sedation dentist can provide a safe procedure for their young child, with great rates of success.


If doubt is still preventing the parent from allowing the child to receive treatment, there are two more things to consider: 1) choosing to have more invasive procedures done at the hospital, and 2) following the protocols for sedation dentistry closely. If parents make sure they understand everything they need to do before and after the sedation, they help keep the risks under control. Choosing doctors with experience and asking them about an emergency plan that covers any possible complication is also very helpful.


What’s truly important is that sedation dentistry keeps helping dental professionals treat their youngest patients, with a very low risk of complications. Knowing these risks and being prepared for them allows children to get the important dental treatments they need. To learn more about the benefits of sedation dentistry, feel free to give The Dental Anesthesia Center a call at (314) 862-7844!

Dental Sedation

The Potential Side Effects of Dental Sedation and How to Counteract Them

While dental sedation is a safe and well-regarded practice, we believe it is our duty to give you a complete idea of the potential side effects if you choose to utilize it. Here are some useful tips for counteracting any adverse outcomes that you might experience after sedation.


Initial Confusion

The level of confusion you may feel after sedation will depend on the strength the dentist gives you. For an anti-anxiety medication, you might not be disoriented at all. On the other hand, stronger treatments may have side effects. No matter what, this feeling should not last a long time. What will likely happen is that you’ll stay seated for five to ten minutes after your appointment ends, and then you will regain your previous state of mind not long after. The best way to fight this effect is simply waiting for it to pass.



There is a good chance that your treatment will make you tired. While you may get your energy back later in the day, the best move is likely relaxing and taking a nap. You should feel fine once you wake up from it and you can get on with your regular life. This factor often prompts people to take a full or half day off after sedation, as sleeping is the best way to get rid of fatigue.


Mental Fog

After the initial confusion passes, you still might feel some mental fog effects for a few hours after your appointment. This process can be frustrating for some, especially if they have tasks to complete that same day. You can often get rid of this symptom by eating, drinking, and relaxing. Doing so should make it pass in just a couple of hours.



Sedation patients also experience headaches in rare cases. The best way to fight them is with over the counter pain medication. You must be careful, though, as taking these pills on an empty stomach can lead to other complications. The best way forward is usually to have a meal and then take the medicine after.



Lastly, some sedation patients feel nauseous when they come back to full consciousness. The first thing you can do to rid yourself of this feeling is to eat and drink whatever your stomach will allow. If this symptom persists for many hours after, you can also call your dentist and discuss getting a prescription to fight it.


Though you may experience initial confusion, fatigue, mental fog, headaches, or nausea after your dental sedation appointment, there are two reasons why you should not be afraid. The first is that these symptoms are both temporary and quite easy to counteract with the methods we talked about in this article. The second is that getting dental treatment is crucial for individuals who want to optimize their health. With the help of sedation, even people with severe dental anxiety can achieve that goal.
The Dental Anesthesia Center: Sedation and Sleep Dentistry

950 Francis Pl #305

Clayton, MO


(314) 862-7844

Dental Sedation

The Differences Between Sedation and Anesthesia in Dentistry


One concept that consistently confuses patients is the difference between sedation and anesthesia. Honestly, we don’t blame them. These two concepts have similar definitions, and medical professionals occasionally use them interchangeably. Still, it is important to have precise knowledge of a medical topic before undergoing it, so learning about these two treatments is well worth your time.

What is Anesthesia?

The definition of anesthesia is the general usage of medication to reduce sensation. It is frequently used for especially painful or time-consuming procedures, but also has others applications. Medical professionals break this concept up into the 3 following categories.

  • Local – This type of treatment will numb a single, small area. In a dental context, that could mean reducing the feeling in your mouth for a root canal.
  • Regional – This variant refers to the numbing of larger areas, such as an entire arm or leg, and is generally not used in a dentist’s office.
  • General – The last type of anesthesia is the one that “puts you to sleep.” Getting it will make you feel no pain and also lead to a loss of consciousness.

Where Sedation Fits In

Sedation is a result of general anesthesia that dentists and other medical professionals seek for some types of treatments. What these two methods share is that they are both used to lessen pain and lead to some degree of lost consciousness. These results benefit the patient by making the procedure less stressful and painful.

How They Differ

Where these two treatments differ is in severity. When a medical professional wants to “put you to sleep,” meaning you lose all consciousness, they will call that general anesthesia. Sedation, on the other hand, has the following range of strengths.

  • Light – You will likely take an anti-anxiety pill or inhale nitrous oxide for this strength. As a result, you will feel relaxed but lose little or no consciousness. You should remember the appointment entirely.
  • Moderate – Here, you will generally inhale nitrous oxide and lose partial consciousness. You will likely have little or no memory of the treatment.
  • Heavy – Through either nitrous oxide or an IV, you will lose almost all of your consciousness and have no memory of the event.

What to Expect at a Sedation Dental Appointment

Your precise needs will dictate what to expect from your sedation dentist appointment. If you have minor dental anxiety, you might simply take a pill before your treatment and feel its calming effects. For more severe issues or lengthy procedures, your dentist could opt to give you moderate or heavy sedation. No matter what, you will be safe in the hands of a trained medical professional, and the appointment will be over as quickly as possible.

Now that you understand the difference between sedation and anesthesia, you can book a dental appointment with confidence. One thing that eases the mind of many patents is that dental sedation usually involves staying partially conscious. This makes the treatment much less scary to those that are uncomfortable with the idea of general anesthesia.


The Dental Anesthesia Center: Sedation and Sleep Dentistry

950 Francis Pl #305

Clayton, MO


(314) 862-7844