Are you afraid of dental treatment? Or maybe just nervous about the prospect? If so, you truly are not alone. Research studies have found that more than 50% of individuals suffer from some level of dental anxiety or “dental phobia,” so it’s quite common. The problem is that a significant percentage of people who have dental phobia ultimately stay away from the dentist altogether, avoiding necessary treatment and increasing the risk of developing major oral health conditions. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can alleviate dental anxiety and help patients who have a fear of dental care enjoy a much more relaxed—even pleasant—treatment process!
Our practice offers both nitrous oxide sedation and oral conscious sedation. These are two very popular sedation techniques, and neither will completely “put you out” during the procedure. In other words, these options will not render you unconscious while the treatment commences; in fact, patients should be able to communicate with our dental team throughout the procedure. Nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation simply put patients in a more relaxed state, helping them reduce anxiety and sit through the treatment without the stress and anxiety that is so common among individuals with dental phobia.
Here’s a recent sedation dentistry success story that illustrates how effective these techniques can be:
One of my patients who is now in her 40s had a traumatic fall when she was a child. Two of her teeth had to be extracted, and there were many complications in the years afterward. She was recently referred to me for pre-operative dental work in preparation for oral surgery. Sedation dentistry helped her throughout the x-ray and pre-operative process, as well as through the oral surgery procedure, where she received dental implants. When she came back for temporary crowns, she was again given sedation dentistry (oral conscious sedation). After the procedure, the patient greatly appreciated the fact that she couldn’t remember much from the experience. This is a direct result of the extraordinary way in which sedation dentistry can create a more relaxing treatment process—in some cases, allowing patients to enter such a deep state of relaxation that they remember little or nothing about the treatment at all!
The right sedation dentistry option for your unique needs will depend on your level of anxiety and other factors. Nitrous oxide is administered at the time of treatment and there are typically no lingering side effects. Oral conscious sedation involves a small pill taken within an hour before the treatment, and some drowsiness/grogginess can be expected for a while after the procedure is complete. During your initial consultation, I can answer any questions you may have about which sedation dentistry option is most ideal for your needs and expectations.
With sedation dentistry, we can take the fear out of dental care and provide you with treatment that can restore the health and appearance of your teeth. Now that’s really something to smile about!
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