There’s a new survey out that explains what we Americans fear. Identity theft and death are high on the list. What’s not on the list? Visiting the dentist — but we know one of the most common anxieties is reclining in the dental chair. It’s a loss of control that many people just aren’t comfortable with. Does the thought of undergoing dental work make your stomach churn? We’ve got good news.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses certain anxiety-reducing medications to help patients with mental or physical barriers relax through dental care. It’s a safe, effective option for healthy people of all ages. Our office offers two types of sedation dentistry: nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is administered through a nasal mask that you wear throughout the treatment. Nitrous oxide is a light form of sedation that is combined with local anesthesia as needed to numb the treatment area. Its effects take over quickly, so there’s no time spent dreading or overthinking your procedure. Simply breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy the relaxing effects of nitrous oxide. When your treatment is over and the mask is removed, the effects wear off immediately — so you can go on about your day as normal, no post-anesthesia grogginess included.
Oral conscious sedation offers a deeper level of relaxation, and it may be combined with nitrous oxide for additional comfort. It’s a perfect option for patients dealing with more significant anxiety, or those undergoing longer, more complex procedures. To achieve oral conscious sedation, your dentist prescribes a common anti-anxiety medication for you to take orally about an hour before your procedure. Plan for someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment. The medicine removes you from the sights, smells, and sounds of the dentist’s office, so you can relax throughout your procedure.
You may remain groggy for a few hours following an appointment with oral conscious sedation. Plan to take it easy for the rest of the day — rest, watch a movie, and relax until you’re feeling back to normal. Many patients find that they only really need one appointment with sedation dentistry. After they realize there’s nothing to fear from visiting the dentist, they can resume their normal care. That’s an excellent outcome for oral and dental health.
Sedation Dentistry: It’s Not Just For Anxiety, Either
People who are fearful or anxious at the dentist’s office certainly benefit from sedation dentistry — but it can also help patients whose mobility issues or disabilities prevent them from reclining in the dental chair. Autism, muscular dystrophy, head and neck issues, and other barriers can make visiting the dentist difficult or impossible. But good oral health can be achieved and maintained with soothing, relaxing sedation dentistry.
Are you interested in benefitting from nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation? Please get in touch with our office to request an appointment. Let us know you’re interested in sedation dentistry when you do!
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