The Importance of Sedation Dentistry

Fear of the dentist is one of the most prevalent phobias out there. It’s estimated that between 9% and 15% of Americans are straight-up terrified to see the dentist for even routine checkups. Even though this Jacksonville dentist does everything she can to make you smile, Dr. Shields understands that dentophobia is a real and serious fear. No matter your fear level, we do our best to make you feel at ease. From providing a comfortable, calming space to practicing the art of sedation dentistry.


Fear of the dentist is real, and many people experience it in many ways. For some, dental anxiety is stems from the fear of needles, or the sounds the instruments make when we clean and protect teeth and gums from decay and disease. For others the loss of control of a situation is what triggers fear and stress, while others are concerned that something catastrophic will occur and nobody will be able to help them. And for others, general anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder make scheduling an appointment and sitting in an exam chair one of the most terrifying experiences ever had. At our Jacksonville office, we understand this fear and do not take it lightly at all. Our main goal is to help you conquer your fear so you can maintain your oral health and protect your overall health. This is why we practice sedation dentistry for our clients in need.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Not that far back in history dental procedures were done with little to no pain management. It wasn’t until 1846 that doctors were able to understand how to dose ether properly and begin the study of anesthesia. They learned that sedation for procedures, dental or otherwise, made pain-free care possible. However, it’s no wonder that people are still afraid that a trip to the dentist could result in excruciating pain. Over the years, the use of pharmaceuticals to manage pain has been studied and perfected by dentists and physicians alike. And, the advent of sedation dentistry has enabled dentists to provide critical care to those with extreme dentophobia.

Sedation dentistry is the use of sedatives to calm and relax patients undergoing routine dental procedures. A class of medications have been well-tested and are available to dentists who are in compliance with the regulations set forth by the ADA. Conscious sedation allows Dr. Shields to provide thorough cleanings and minor, routine procedures while you are awake and unable to feel anything. The medication causes relaxation and reduces anxiety for the patients. Depending on your level of anxiety, the procedures necessary, and your physical state, Dr. Shields will be able to choose the level of sedation through the most efficient methods just for you. This can mean the use of nitrous oxide, oral sedatives, or local anesthesia. Rest assured, she is well trained in administering these medications and understands how important dosages, and timing of medications are.

Why Practice Sedation Dentistry?  

Your mouth is one of the most important mechanisms in your body. Not only because it allows you to nourish yourself, but because it is the gateway to the entire body. Practicing oral health is so important because how you treat your teeth and gums affects your whole body. Avoiding the dentist out of fear, can be detrimental to your health. Developing cavities and gum disease is easy for someone who is too afraid to visit the dentist, even if they brush and floss daily. Seeing the dentist twice a year is the only way you can be sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. We practice sedation dentistry because oral health is so important.

By offering sedation dentistry, we are able to provide a calm, relaxing environment where the patient can be totally at ease. It is a way we can show our patients that there is nothing to fear, and that they are in good hands.

If you are plagued by dentophobia, don’t let your teeth suffer. Call us at our Jacksonville office today to talk with Dr. Shields about your fears. She will be able to help you discover if sedation dentistry is right for you, and help you keep your teeth healthy no matter how much anxiety you carry.


Contact us

Smiles by Shields
3940 San Jose Park Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32217