Can a Raleigh Sedation Dentist Help With Your General Health?

If you experience some type of anxiety or fear about dental treatment, you’re not alone. In fact, studies suggest that 75% of Americans do experience some degree of dental fear. Unfortunately, about 5-10% of Americans are going without needed dental treatment because of the degree of anxiety or fear that they experience. An experienced and caring sedation dentist can help you set aside those fears and have the needed treatment. Is getting dental treatment really that important? The evidence continues to mount that resulting poor dental health and personal appearance aren’t the only consequences. Poor dental health, especially periodontal disease, continues to be linked to a variety of general health concerns.


More and more research is being done to determine the nature of the relationship between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease and stroke. It has been clearly established that both conditions coexist frequently. While some studies suggest that the bacteria associated with periodontal disease may have a causal effect on poor cardiovascular health, there is no consensus opinion – yet! We do know that the relationship is strong enough that dentists in the know who are treating periodontal disease will inquire about a family history of heart disease, and that cardiologists will often examine a patient’s mouth.


If you experience dental anxiety and know that your oral health is poor, it is time to start looking for a sedation dentist so that you can go ahead and get the treatment you need.  Other conditions that are tied to periodontal disease are premature births/low birth weight, and respiratory disease (from inhalation of bacteria).


Can I Find a Raleigh Sedation Dentist?

In July 2009, the NC State Board of Dental Examiners implemented new policies for sedation dentistry to help ensure patient safety. These new sedation dentistry guidelines require that the board verify the recent experience and training of dentists who practice sedation dentistry. With the ties between oral health and general health becoming stronger, hopefully more patients as well as dentists will realize that sedation dentistry just makes good sense for those who do experience anxiety. For now, however, there are a very limited number of sedation dentists in Raleigh – or more formally stated – dentists who are certified to administer oral conscious sedation dentistry or even more specifically, limited moderate conscious sedation dentistry. This type of sedation dentist has the type of certification that patients who experience significant anxiety will want to look for. The certification means that the Raleigh sedation dentist can administer sedation not only for patients with great anxiety, but also for patients whose anxiety level is lower, but who simply prefer sedation. You may want to look for a Raleigh sedation dentist for in-depth or lengthy dental procedures, for treating gum disease, or if you experience cramping or pain when you have to hold your mouth open.


Statistics provided by the NC Dental Board in June 2009 indicated the following about the availability of Raleigh sedation dentists:


  • The ratio of Raleigh sedation dentists to general dentists was less than 3 in 100! (Only 6 were certified to be limited moderate conscious sedation dentists.)
  • The ratio of less than 3 in 100 held true across the state of North Carolina as a whole.



Because of the new regulations, you may want to check in with the sedation dentist before scheduling an appointment to find out whether the dentist is certified for the new guidelines. If the Raleigh dentist has not yet been certified for the new guidelines, that could mean that the sedation administered may not be sufficient to keep you relaxed and anxiety-free for the duration of your appointment. Be specific when you ask any Raleigh sedation dentist about his or her services, and how the services they currently provide relate to the new guidelines for NC.


[A full technical description of the new NC sedation dentistry regulations is located at Additional information about the benefits and safety of using sedation dentistry is available at: Sedation Dentistry benefits and safety]