If your dentist has given you the option of being sedated for a procedure or just riding it out on your own, you might be tempted to just tough it out and go without sedation. But while this may seem cool and make you feel empowered, it's not usually the best choice. Dental sedation, including laughing gas and IV sedation, has a long history of safety and success. Here are three reasons to say "yes" rather than trying to be the tough one.
You won't have bad, anxiety-ridden memories of the procedure.
If your dentist is recommending sedation, it's probably because the procedure can be somewhat traumatic or stressful. While you may be given a local anesthetic to remove the pain, having the dentist push and pull on your head or use a hammer to crack an impacted tooth can leave you feeling scared and vulnerable. You would not be the first patient to develop a fear of the dentist after an experience like this. With sedation, you may be aware of what you dentist is doing, but you'll either find it hilarious or you won't care. You won't have to worry about scary memories making every future dental visit more challenging.
Stopping for sedation in the middle of the appointment can be challenging.
If you get halfway through the procedure and decide you just can't handle it without sedation, it might be too late. If the dentist has not set up the room you're in for sedation because you had plans to have the procedure without it, you may not be able to then begin using laughing gas or have an IV put in. Even in the case that your dentist can stop and administer sedation, this can slow down the procedure and increase your risk of complications. For instance, your mouth may keep bleeding as your dentist pauses to get you hooked up to laughing gas before stitching your incision shut.
It will make things easier for your dentist.
When you're sedated, you'll be a lot easier for the dentist to work on since he or she won't have to worry so much about your comfort or potential anxiety. Your dentist may even do a better job because he or she can focus more closely on the procedure when you're not wiggling around.
Before you turn down sedation, be sure to think long and hard about these benefits. If your dentist is recommending laughing gas or an IV sedative, there's usually a good reason for it!