We understand that going to the dentist may be stressful for some of our patients. If you're nervous about your dental visit, let us know! We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your dental treatment and are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- A hard time sitting still for long periods of time
- Apprehension about certain dental procedures
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits of sedation dentistry, including:
- Less fear or anxiety during treatment
- More comfort during dental procedures
- A more relaxing dental experience
Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it's a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a frequently used method for easing mild anxiety. Administered through a small mask that fits over your nose, it is an effective way to calm anxiety, raise your pain threshold, and even make time seem like it's passing quicker than usual. At the end of your appointment, you'll resume breathing regular oxygen, and all the effects of nitrous oxide will disappear, so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
Anxiolysis is a light form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild to moderate anxiety or those with longer procedures or more complex situations. Usually administered orally, with mild sedation, you remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete.
I.V Sedation Dentistry
Your anesthesia provider will gently place an IV and administer medication to help you into a deeper state of relaxation. This is great for longer or more comprehensive appointments. You will have the opportunity to discuss the level of I.V sedation with your provider. Once your treatment is complete, you will wake up with little or no memory of the appointment and a beautiful new smile. Using sedation dentistry, we may be able to complete many different procedures, including complex smile makeovers, in just one office visit.
Understanding the range of choices that are available to relieve anxiety and discomfort can be very useful. Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method is right for you.
Common questions about sedation dentistry
We understand that you may have many questions about sedation dentistry before receiving treatment. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about sedation dentistry:
- Will I feel anything during my treatment?
In most cases, patients do not feel anything. There is very little discomfort, and many patients wake up feeling relaxed and comfortable with almost no memory of the treatment.
- Is sedation dentistry the same as being unconscious?
No. You will still be conscious and responsive but you will be in a deep state of relaxation.
- Is sedation dentistry safe?
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. Before starting your treatment with IV sedation, your doctor will help you decide if IV sedation is right for your treatment.
- How long will it take the sedation to wear off?
The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off depends on the dose you've received, how long your treatment is, and how quickly your own body can recover. Because sedation causes drowsiness, it is recommended that you have a family member or friend drive you to and from your appointment. After your treatment, you should not drive, drink alcohol, or operate machinery.
- Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?
Any patient, from child to adult, who experiences dental anxiety is a good candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have any of the following fears or concerns, ask your doctor about sedation dentistry as an option for your next dental treatment:
- Extreme dental anxiety, or fear of visiting the dentist
- Fear of needles and/or shots
- Past traumatic dental experience
- Inability to handle the smells or noises at a dentist's office
- Overly sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or trouble getting numb
- Need for a more complex dental treatment
- Self-consciousness about one's teeth
- Desire for a more comfortable dental treatment
If you feel that you could benefit from sedation dentistry at your next appointment, please contact us and let us know how we can better accommodate your needs.