Many people suffer from anxiety and there are a lot of everyday things that can trigger those stressful feelings. However, there is one thing in particular that seems to cause extreme anxiety in some people, the thought of making a dental appointment.

A number of people associate being in the dentist chair with pain and feeling uncomfortable. Even the sound of dental equipment can cause someone to panic, so instead of making regular dental visits a part of their routine, they neglect their oral health and wait until something small turns into a problem requires extensive and potentially expensive treatment. For example, a cavity could be repaired with a simple filling, but those wait until a tooth is causing pain will most likely require further treatment, such as a root canal due to letting the cavity become severe.

The question is: How can our office help those who suffer from dental anxiety?

The answer is: Sedation dentistry.

We want each of our patients to feel as comfortable as possible and know that dental anxiety is a very real problem for many. Through sedation dentistry we can use medication to help our patients feel relaxed during dental procedures. Although it is often referred to as “sleep dentistry,” that is not entirely correct. A patient will most likely be awake during most procedures unless their treatment requires general anesthesia.

Here are some of the levels of sedation that our office provides to help relieve our patients of dental anxiety:

  • Low level sedation – This is for minimal treatments. You are awake, but relaxed
  • Medium level sedation – “Consciousness sedation” – You will be awake, but may feel “loopy” and not remember much of the procedure
  • Deep level sedation – You will be in a “grey area” of consciousness, but still can be awake
  • General anesthesia – You are completely unconscious

What are the types of sedation available?

  • Inhaled minimal sedation – We use nitrous oxide, which you inhale through a mask. This type of sedation will help you relax and wears off quickly after the procedure
  • Oral sedation – This can range from minimal to moderate, depending on the dose. This come in the form of a pill called Halcion, which is similar to Valium. It is usually taken one hour before a procedure and will make you feel drowsy and relaxed
  • IV sedation – This is a quick working method of sedation, which is received through a vein
  • Deep sedation – This is a form of general anesthesia and will have you completely unconscious during the entire procedure

Each of these options can help even the most anxious dental patient. No longer do you need to fear time spent in the dentist’s chair. Contact our office today and learn more about how sedation dentistry can help you.