Dental anxiety is a common condition that can prevent people from receiving the oral care they need. In extreme cases, patients may even try to endure tooth pain or other oral health concerns due to fear of the dentist. Fortunately, Dean Lodding, DDS and our team offer a number of sedation techniques that can put you in a relaxed and comfortable state during your visit, effectively diminishing—or even alleviating—any concerns or dental phobias you might have. With the aid of sedation dentistry, you can receive the treatment you need and/or desire while helping to prevent the development of more complicated and costly oral health issues later down the road.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry works by calming patients and allowing them to enter a deeply relaxed state. Whether administered via nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, you will typically be able to communicate with your dentist during the procedure. These sedation techniques can make you completely comfortable during treatment, often allowing your dentist to perform procedures, such as fillings, with more efficiency and shortening the duration of the appointment. In some cases, sedation dentistry may enable your dentist to perform multiple procedures simultaneously, reducing the overall number of office visits needed to complete all necessary dental work.
Sedation Dentistry Candidates
If you are reluctant to visit the dentist due to anxiety, sedation dentistry from our dental team may be right for you. Sedation dentistry candidates often exhibit similar qualities, including:
- Moderate to severe dental phobia
- Fear of needles
- Easily triggered gag reflex
- Difficulty keeping still in the dentist’s chair
- Sensitive teeth
- Prior negative experiences with a dentist
To make sure you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry, one of our dentists will review your medical history—including all current medications—to make sure there are no apparent health risks. Your dentist will then recommend the type of sedation that best suits your needs.
Types of Sedation
We offer two types of sedation techniques at Smile for Life Dental: nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.
- Nitrous oxide, more commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” works to relax patients quickly through inhalation. This method of sedation can be used before treatment begins and can often make the administration of local anesthetics (if needed) more comfortable. Since the effects of nitrous oxide wear off very soon after treatment is complete, patients are typically still able to drive themselves home afterward.
- With oral conscious sedation, a small pill (taken by mouth right before the procedure) deeply relaxes patients while further dulling any potential treatment discomfort. Though this method of sedation still allows patients to communicate with the dentist, some individuals enter a sleep-like state and do not remember the procedure after its completion. With oral conscious sedation, we recommend that patients arrange transportation home from their appointment, as the effects can linger for some time.
For more information about sedation dentistry techniques, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, please contact our office today.