Dental research estimates that somewhere between 9% to 15% of Americans delay seeing their dentist due to fear. Many ailing people endure painful, infected, discolored, and damaged teeth rather than set foot in a dental office. When they finally do make an appointment, they dread it all week long. Reasons for this fear vary. For many people it’s that they’re worried about discomfort. While, for others it’s a fear of not having control.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to provide a more relaxing experience for those patients with dental phobias who might otherwise avoid dental care. Sometimes referred to as “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry, sedation dentistry is now offered by thousands of dentists, including the skilled and compassionate dentists at Elevate Dental Implant Center in Hanover, MD.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?
Sedation dentistry might be right for you if you avoid dental visits due to anxiety. Often times, that anxiety can be attributed to:
- Negative past experiences
- Fear of pain or gagging/choking
- Extreme discomfort with the sounds and smells of dental office
- Not wanting to feel numb
- The feeling of losing control
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
- Aren’t able to sit still in a dentist chair
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
- Have a low pain threshold
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is an effective sedative that is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask that fits over your nose. It does not put you to sleep or even make you laugh (despite it’s common nickname). When on nitrous oxide, you will still be able to carry on a conversation with the dentist, but it will help you feel more calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed, allowing you to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Oral sedation relaxes you and reduces your feelings of pain. With oral sedation, you are aware of your surroundings and can carry on a conversation, but you’ll be less responsive to what is happening. You will probably also feel drowsy and may even feel like taking a nap during the procedure.
The medication that is used most often is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. A friend or family member will need to drive you home if you have taken oral sedation.
IV sedation is when medication is administered through your vein, so it begins to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation, so you can be either almost or completely “out” during your procedure. Not all dentists offer IV sedation, so contact your dentist prior to the procedure to ask.
This sedative option is medically induced unconsciousness. It is safe for most patients and can guarantee that you will be asleep during the entire procedure, leaving you with little to no memory of it.
Sedation Dentistry with Elevate Dental Implant Center
We strive to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable at Elevate Dental Implant Center in Hanover, MD. Our relaxing atmosphere combined with our professional and friendly staff, have helped hundreds of patients feel more comfortable at the dentist. But if you’re still not convinced, sedation dentistry might be for you! Contact our office online or call us at 410-205-4997 for more details and to schedule your appointment.