If just the thought of walking through the door into our dental office makes you feel anxious, that’s OK. We understand that dental anxiety is quite common; in fact, about 30 to 40 million Americans make a point of avoiding the dental care and checkups they really need simply due to fear. Our team doesn’t want anyone to skip the regular visits and teeth cleanings necessary for healthy teeth and gums, so it’s our mission to make you feel as comfortable and confident as possible from the moment you call us to schedule an appointment.
Our team is friendly and welcoming, and we’ll be happy to explain any paperwork or questions you have about what to expect. When you meet your dentist for an exam, we’ll answer questions and show you what we see in your overall tooth and gum health. You’ll be able to fully understand any treatments we recommend and why, so that it’s always your choice to take further action. During any actual procedures you decide to undergo, making you calm and comfortable in the chair might include offering sedation for a painless and safe experience. You’ll have little to no memory of the treatment itself, making the process fast and pain-free while our dentists take their time making sure everything is completed safely. Your insurance provider may even cover sedation dentistry, so contact your provider or our office for assistance in checking the policy details and payment amounts.
There are a few ways of offering sedation to dental patients, which can include an oral sedative, IV sedatives or general anesthesia, or nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”). Oral sedation is a small pill taken prior to your dental appointment that relaxes your nerves and eases your anxiety, so when you arrive at our office for your dental appointment, you can stay calm and comfortable. This is a light sedation, so you maintain full control and can openly communicate with our doctors as needed.
Almost anyone can be a candidate for sedation dentistry, but some patients that come to our office need help relaxing or calming their fear or anxiety for more specific reasons, such as:
Sedation dentistry is common and presents very little risk for healthy patients. Almost anyone who experiences anxiety or fear before a dental treatment will have a better experience through sedation dentistry, including patients who: haven’t visited a dentist in a long time and feel nervous; want to avoid local anesthesia due to a fear of needles or shots; had a negative dental experience in the past; get tense in the dental chair; feel very sensitive to discomfort or pain; and simply have a long or complex treatment planned and will need to remain very still for a long period of time.
Please consult your physician if you have a history of cardiac disease, hypertension, diabetes, or respiratory diseases. Before your treatment, our office will provide a questionnaire covering these and other health and medical records to determine if and how to make sedation dentistry safe and effective for you, so please take your time to seriously consider and accurately complete this information.
Oral sedation can cause drowsiness and must be taken in advance before arriving at our dental office to give it enough time to take effect. As a result, patients will need a friend or family member there to drive them to and from the appointment.
During your treatment, our team will closely monitor you for any signs of issues. Oral sedation has an amnestic effect, so you will have little to no memory of the procedure itself. After sedation, the time it takes for the effects to fully ware off vary from person to person. You may feel a bit uncoordinated on your feet or nauseated and sleepy at first, so plan to rest for at least a day. Other possible side effects include dry mouth, headaches, and dizziness. There can be complications with the oral medications, but these are rare. Nonetheless, you should be sure to discuss all possible risks with your dentist to make a fully informed decision about your treatment.
Ask our team if sedation dentistry is right for you!