Sedation Dentistry: Sit Back and Relax

It’s no mystery that dental procedures inspire some of the worst fears in many people young and old. Whatever their reasons are for fearing dental work, there’s an approved way for them to relax and get the dental care they need. This is possible with sedation dentistry, which means using oral sedation to relax patients so they will more easily cooperate with dentists who want to help them. At Foothill Dental Care, where Roxanna Buchanan presides as a sedation dentist in Pleasanton, CA, sedation dentistry is offered as a means to get patients to actively seek dental work to stay healthy and avoid problems in the long run.

Sedation dentistry means oral sedation, not intravenous methods. How does it work? A sedative pill is given to the patient an hour before treatment. The sedation pill is essentially an anti-anxiety pill and the prescription of it is approved by a doctor prior to the dental procedure. Oral sedation helps the patient relax, makes them a little bit sleepy, but allows them to remain awake and aware so they can stay just focused enough through the dental procedure. For example, while it’s helpful for the patient to be very, very relaxed, the Pleasanton, CA, sedation dentist still needs the patient to keep their mouth open and tilt their head to make it easier for the dentist to do her job well. Sedation dentistry allows this effect.

You may wonder what could be so stressful about dental procedures that people are so afraid as to require oral sedation. The reasons are many. For one, if a patient just experienced the death of a close friend or family member, they are distraught and have trouble focusing on matters at hand. The Pleasanton, CA, sedation dentist can help them relax enough to forget their troubles and get through the dental procedure in peace. Also, imagine people with serious fears of dental work—there are indeed phobias that fit this description. For some people, bringing along their own MP3 or CD player and headphones is enough to relax. But for those with fears of visiting the dentist, and for those who loathe and cringe at the sound of the drill, oral sedation dentistry can be the psychological relaxant of the hour. There are also elderly patients who may have gone through harrowing dental experiences. In decades past, anesthetia wasn’t always the rule—sometimes it was the exception. Consequently, there are plenty of older patients who vividly recall the pain they experienced during fillings, tooth removals, or other dental work. Meanwhile, they still need to see the dentist for procedures that will surely benefit them. In order to have these patients sit still while the work is being done, the Pleasanton, CA, sedation dentist uses sedation carefully to help them relax and receive their necessary procedures.

For patients who are in their 20s or even up to their 40s, the same visceral fear of pain associated with dentistry is uncommon. For such patients, the dentist usually uses the right anesthetic without any sedation involved. However, for patients who experience the crippling fear of the drill, for those going through emotional distress, and for those with latent fears of dental work from childhood a generation ago, sedation dentistry helps calm the nerves so the dentist can do her wonderful work.


Roxanna Buchanan is the principal dentist for Foothill Dental Care
1400 Santa Rita Road Suite D
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: 925-462-1800

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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