What is done to make sure sedation at the dentist is safe?

I keep reading reading that sedation dentistry is safe. Will you please give me a little more information on why it is considered safe? This is a procedure that I interested in but I feel like I don’t know enough about it. I don’t want more trouble at a dentist’s office than I came in with. What is done at a dentist’s office to make sure I am safe with sedation? Thanks. Dionna


Most states require that dentists receive training and certification in sedation dentistry. Precautions are taken to ensure safe and effective treatment before, during, and after your dental appointment.

  • Before sedation is given to you, a review of your medical history will be completed to determine if you are a candidate for sedation. Be certain to tell your dentist about all medications and supplements you take, as well as any allergies you may have.
  • The sedation methods include common substances to help you relax—nitrous oxide and anti-anxiety medication.
  • During your dental procedure, your vital signs will be monitored. So in advance of your appointment, the dental staff will ensure that the monitoring equipment is working properly.
  • Your blood pressure and oxygen level will be monitored. Many dentists use an EKG to observe your heart rate. This is always true for patients with a risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Although sedation dentistry is safe, emergency equipment and emergency medication are readily available.
  • For oral surgery, all post-operative materials will be prepared in advance.

Before you choose a sedation dentist, ask about his or her training experience. Find out how often the dentist uses sedation. You will also want to know what levels of sedation the dentist uses (nitrous oxide, conscious oral, or IV sedation).

If you have additional questions about what to expect before, during, and after your dental procedure, don’t hesitate to ask them.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Can’t afford a dentist? Five ways to prevent a dental emergency.

Can’t afford a dentist? You may be interested in ways to prevent a dental emergency. Here are five:

  1. Brush and floss daily. You should brush your teeth twice daily and thoroughly floss between all of your teeth every day. Why? Brushing and flossing remove trapped food between your teeth that can otherwise lead to decay and plaque. Decayed teeth progressively worsen and lead to cavities. Untreated cavities progress and eventually require a root canal treatment. Plaque can lead to gum inflammation, causing gums to bleed and eventually, full-blown gum disease results.
  2. Wear a mouth guard when playing sports. Mouth guards protect the teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue, and lips. A significant blow to any one of these areas can lead you to a dental chair and a dental bill that is more expensive than a mouth guard.
  3. Don’t use your teeth to cut things or to try to open things. Trying to open a package, a bottle, or anything else with your teeth can seriously cut your gums or harm your teeth. The progressive pain will require the attention of a dentist. And an urgent care or emergency room trip won’t do. You may receive pain medication or antibiotics. But you will also be referred to a dentist for an examination.
  4. Avoid chewing ice or popcorn kernels, and don’t bite hard objects. These items can weaken your teeth and cause them crack or chip your teeth. An untreated crack or chip can worsen with time and require dental bonding or a dental crown.
  5. Regularly get your teeth professionally cleaned. And that applies even if you don’t have dental insurance. Get your teeth cleaned anyway. The out-of-pocket cost to get your teeth professionally cleaned helps prevent periodontal (gum) disease. It also assists in the early detection of cavities and other dental problems that, if left untreated, can escalate into more serious and more costly issues.

Remember that a dentist’s priority is to help you maintain good oral health. He or she will help you receive preventive care that is affordable for you.

If you have an unavoidable dental emergency, most dentists schedule time in each day for emergency appointments, so call right away for an examination.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Does my son need a mouth guard if he still has his primary teeth?

My 6 year old is in a junior soccer league. He doesn’t have his permanent teeth yet so I am wondering if a mouth guard is necessary. Thanks a lot. Nora

Nora – From a dentist’s perspective, a mouth guard is a must. Mouth guards protect the gums and teeth, and they absorb the impact to the face or mouth.

Although your son still has primary teeth, they need to be preserved. Primary teeth hold the position for permanent teeth and help guide them in place. When a primary tooth is missing, the other teeth will begin to drift toward the missing space. This can impact the growth of permanent teeth.

Trauma to the gums can be serious. A gash or cut in the gums can be a painful experience. If it’s serious, stitches may be needed. A mouth guard can help prevent or lessen the seriousness of such trauma. In addition to protect the teeth and gums, a mouth guard can protect the lips, jawbone, tongue, and cheeks.

The small investment for your son’s safety is less costly than an actual injury. Speak with your son’s dentist about your options for protecting his teeth during sports activities.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.