We understand that not everybody is going to be enthusiastic about coming to see us. The fear of going to the dentist – known as dentophobia – is a very valid and legitimate phobia that affects millions of individuals and keeps them from scheduling appointments with us. Even when facing serious discomfort from painful conditions such as dental abscesses, tooth decay, and impacted teeth, some of our patients will still staunchly refuse to set up an appointment with us to get these issues addressed.
We here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry empathize with you and know that your feelings are valid, which is why we offer two types of sedation dentistry at our office. Not only can they help you from experiencing any discomfort while in our care, but they can also help keep you feeling calm and at ease while receiving treatment from us.
What is Sedation Dentistry and How Is It Used?
Sedation dentistry is a special type of sedation that we provide to our valued patients to help keep them calm and relaxed during treatment. There are many different benefits of sedation dentistry, making the procedure a much smoother and easier experience for our patients.
Some patients may be anxious about the types of sedation that we provide in our office, but it is quite safe. Unlike general sedation, which renders you unconscious during the procedure, this is considered conscious sedation. You can breathe on your own and will remake awake and alert, just highly relaxed.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
In addition to being a safe way to help keep you feeling calm while getting a procedure in our office, sedation dentistry has many other benefits that are worth highlighting. Sedation dentistry has the added side effect of providing a very mild degree of amnesia, which means that patients who have had bad experiences at the dentist in the past will not be bothered by the memories of their procedure.
Sedation dentistry also reduces your gag reflex, which means it will be easier to work inside your mouth. Because of this, we can also work faster, saving you time in our exam chair. You will remain awake and alert, though, which means that you can still respond to our questions or instruction to you.
One option of sedation dentistry we have to offer here is called nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is a type of gas that is both colorless and odorless. It is administered through a mask that goes over your nose. It is inhaled, making it a good option for patients who do not like to take pills or do not like needles.
Nitrous oxide works quite quickly, which means that we can start treatment for you sooner. It makes our patients feel quite pleasant and even euphoric, reducing their sensations of anxiety or fear. It also can reduce sensations of discomfort, making the procedure easier for you. Nitrous oxide also wears off quickly, which means that you will be back to your usual self shortly after we complete treatment for you. It is very safe for both adults and children, and the dosage is easily adjusted, which means that we can regulate it closely.
Some patients do report mild side effects after administration of nitrous oxides, such as headache or dizziness. We will monitor you after your procedure to help minimize any of these side effects, and we will also offer you oxygen to help clear any remaining nitrous oxide from your lungs and reduce your risk of these side effects.
For patients who may not want to try nitrous oxide, or may be interested in another type of sedation, oral sedation may be the ideal type of sedation to prepare you for your dental procedure.
Oral sedation is not inhaled, but instead, it is a pill that you take an hour to an hour and a half before your procedure. This gives the pill enough time to be effective and achieve the desired results from it. Typically, the pill that we use in oral sedation is a type of benzodiazepine, which is a type of medication that affects the parts of the brain that control fear and anxiety. Common types of benzodiazepines include Valium, Ativan, and Halcion. By working on this region of the brain, the patient feels quite calm and very relaxed during the procedure.
Oral sedation is easy to administer and does not rely on needles or masks to be effective. The benefits of this type of sedation include the added advantage of causing mild amnesia, which means that you will not be bothered later by memories of the procedure. However, you will remain alert and responsive throughout.
Because the effects take longer to kick in, they also take longer to wear off. Patients often feel a little bit disoriented after oral sedation. We advise that you bring somebody with you to drive you home afterward. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive immediately after oral sedation. Some patients do report feeling queasy or nauseated after oral sedation.
They are getting sedation while under our care can be very helpful to you. Because it can calm and relax you, it may be much easier to get multiple procedures done with us while you are in our exam chair. We can work more efficiently, saving you from needing to schedule multiple appointments with us to complete the dental procedure.
The sounds or smells of the procedure typically are less of a concern for a patient who has been sedated with either oral sedation or nitrous oxide. These types of sedation are also quite safe, making them a great option for many of our patients. They are approved for use in patients who may have conditions such as epilepsy, sleep apnea, and obesity.
If you have been hesitating about scheduling an appointment with us out of fear or anxiety, and you would like to learn more about the many benefits of sedation dentistry - or you are ready to see us, please give us here at Wanserski Dental Center for Complex Dentistry a call today at (715) 841-9161!