According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, 30% of the population avoids going to the dentist due to fear. This dental phobia is keeping people from receiving routine dental care and potentially putting them at risk of compromising the health of their mouth and smile. You don’t have to be a part of the statistic; at Fidler on the Tooth we are trained to combat your fears with sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation is a process used to provide an anxiety-free experience through the use of sedatives. Sedatives can make a trip to the dentist an almost relaxing experience. Sedative drugs are administered in a variety of ways: inhalation of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for mild sedation, oral sedation through medication dispensed prior to the appointment, or IV (intravenous) sedation administered through an injection.
- Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas” is one of the most commonly requested types of sedation to calm anxiety during a procedure and it is sometimes combined with oral/IV sedation. You inhale the gas through a facemask, so there are no needles and no gag reflex. The gas has no color or smell and doesn’t irritate. Within a few minutes you experience full body euphoria and pain fades away and is replaced with a peaceful and slightly tipsy feeling.
- Oral Sedation
You are prescribed an anti-anxiety medication (Valium, Halcion, Xanax or Ativan) and instructed to take it prior to being driven to the appointment. The pills bind with the receptors in your brain responsible for fear and tones it down which will diminish the awareness of pain, sounds and smells. You’ll experience a calming effect, drowsiness, minor amnesia and tingling.
- IV (intravenous) Sedation
Administered via injection directly into the bloodstream by an anesthesiologist. IV sedation has an almost instantaneous effect and is great for shorter dental procedures. You remain conscious and able to respond to requests from the dentist and time will appear to pass by really fast. Your memory may be a little foggy and you may feel a little drunk afterwards, so no driving.
Why Choose Sedation Dentistry?
With sedation dentistry a trip to the dentist no longer needs to be a source of anxiety or fear. Instead, it can be a comfortable experience that seemingly flies by with little recollection of the appointment at all. Often the procedures feel like they take only a few minutes instead of hours. Because of this, more complex procedures may be completed in fewer appointments.