Do you get nervous when thinking about visiting your dentist? Some researchers estimate that nearly 75% of Americans experience some level of dental anxiety. Thankfully, many dentists offer options like nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation to help you relax in the dentist’s chair. How do these services work, and how can you tell if one is right for you? Read on as your local Marietta sedation dentist compares these two forms of sedation dentistry and explains who is a good candidate for each.
Nitrous oxide is a quick and comfortable sedation method that is commonly used in dentistry. It earned its nickname “laughing gas” from the light, euphoric, and happy feelings it fosters in people. As soon as you breathe it in, you’ll feel more relaxed and at-ease. While you’ll stay awake and be able to form memories during your appointment, the drowsy, light sensations will prevent you from feeling anxious. Your dentist will control how much nitrous oxide is administered throughout your treatment to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. Afterwards, the effects will wear off within moments so you can go about your day as usual.
This light form of sedation dentistry is a safe option for patients of all ages undergoing any type of dental treatment, from cleanings to root canals. Nitrous oxide may be right for you if you:
- Need a little bit of help to overcome your dental anxiety.
- Have difficulty numbing with local anesthesia alone.
- Want to be able to drive yourself home and continue your day normally.
Oral Conscious Sedation
This form of sedation isn’t as complicated as it may sound. Oral conscious sedation simply involves taking a sedative by mouth that will keep you relaxed but conscious during your appointment. You’ll take the sedative shortly before your appointment and should feel completely calm by the time you reach the office. While you will be conscious and able to respond to your dentist during your treatment, most patients don’t remember their appointment once the sedation has worn off. Since this method provides a deeper level of relaxation, you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you to and from your visit.
Oral conscious sedation may be a great choice for you if you:
- Suffer from mild to moderate dental anxiety.
- Tend to cancel or skip your dental appointments out of fear.
- Have particularly sensitive teeth, gums, or gag reflex.
- Cannot comfortably sit still for a long period of time.
Don’t Be Shy to Ask About Sedation Dentistry
Remember, your dentist cares about your wellbeing and comfort. If you are struggling to get the dental care you need because of anxiety, they want to know! They’d be happy to go over what sedation dentistry services are available and which one might be right for you and your unique needs. Sedation dentistry is a comfortable and safe way to help you overcome your worries and maintain a happy, healthy smile!