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Sedation Dentistry: Could It Be for Me?

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For many, just the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair leads to clammy hands and a palpitating heart.

This sometimes debilitating fear is common; in fact, it has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of this anxiety. That’s about 30 million to 40 million people (source). Sedation dentistry is a safe, relaxing option to ease stress for any dental procedure.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Using a mild and safe medication protocol, sedation dentistry gives patients the ability to simply relax during any dental treatment. The medication has the impact of condensing time and giving a person mild amnesia, which results in the person feeling like their appointment only took 15 minutes when they were actually in the chair for four hours or more.

Oral Conscious Sedation: The Benefits

Although there are several types of sedation dentistry, the most common and beneficial toward the patient is oral conscious sedation. This method utilizes the administration of oral sedative medication, and is:

  • Easy to administer
  • Safe
  • Requires no needles
  • Results in only mild side effects compared to general anesthesia
  • Low-cost compared to other sedation methods
  • Typically has an amnesic effect
  • High patient acceptance rate
  • Offers more anxiety relief than nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

After the sedative is administered, the procedure begins once the patient is nearly asleep but still able to respond to commands. At this point, local anesthesia is still administered to eliminate pain. Throughout the procedure, patients remain only partially aware and fully relaxed and all vital signs are fully monitored by the sedation dentist.

After the procedure, the patient may remain sleepy for a few hours and typically will not remember the procedure at all.

Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry: Is It Safe?


The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners requires sedation dentists to complete at least 30 hours of instructive classroom training with five clinical patient experiences, which allows them to obtain a permit before administering oral moderate sedation to dental patients (source).

Dr. Ginger Price has undergone extensive training and education in sedation dentistry through the highly-esteemed Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) Education, and holds a special permit to administer OCS in the state of Arizona.

This thorough training involves:

  • Assessing and identifying healthy patients
  • Understanding pharmacology
  • Oral conscious sedation administration
  • Airway management
  • Established protocols
  • Emergency management
  • Equipment monitoring
  • Continued education

Oral sedation dentistry is safe, and while emergencies are rare, Dr. Ginger Price is trained to quickly mitigate any potential complications should they ever arise. Sedation reversal is always available though very rarely used.

Are You a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

If you have overwhelming stress and anxiety before a dentist appointment—or avoid the dentist all together—you may be a candidate for oral conscious sedation dentistry.

This method is used for those with severe anxiety, a low pain tolerance, a gag-reflex or for longer appointments. Essentially, if you feel any discomfort at all before or during a visit to the dentist, you could receive this treatment.

Additionally, if you have a long list of necessary dental work, sedation dentistry enables years’ worth of work to be done in several hours. With oral conscious sedation, this will only feel like ten minutes to the patient.

Dr Price will review your health history and any medications you may be taking to determine that sedation is safe for you. We may also request a clearance from your physician.

Why Choose Dr. Ginger Price DDS for Sedation Dentistry?

Your sedation dentist should be calm and understanding, experienced, professional and compassionate.

Dr. Ginger Price DDS has made a name for herself in both her skill and her gentle dentistry. Known internationally for her work, receiving accolades from patients and peers alike, Dr. Price established her practice in 1984. Since then, she continued to provide exceptional dental work with an admirable dedication to patient-care and comfort. Certified, proficient and experienced, Dr. Ginger Price is praised for her oral sedation dentistry practice.

You don’t need to dread the dentist. If you are interested in sedation dentistry, contact Ginger Price DDS to find out if you’re a candidate.

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If you are seeking a family cosmetic dentist, we are a popular choice for residents living in the Arizona areas of Biltmore, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Litchfield Park, Anthem, Mesa, Apache Junction, Tempe, Queen Creek, Carefree, Cave Creek, Flagstaff, Payson, Prescott, Tucson, Casa Grande, Gilbert, Chandler, and Fountain Hills.


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4020 N. 24th Street #120
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
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