A significant number of Americans do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety.  It’s okay to feel nervous or even fearful when anticipating an appointment. We understand that our patients aren’t all the same. We have many methods available to provide you with a relaxed, comfortable dental experience. Our office offers an numerous ways to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.

Whatever the form of anxyiolytic (anti-anxiety) or sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver.  Sometimes, medications are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.

Here are some advantages associated with comfort dentistry:

  • Anxiety is alleviated
  • Few side effects
  • More can be accomplished during each visit
  • Decrease discomfort
  • Safe
  • Procedures can take less time

What kinds of options are available?

The most popular types of dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.  Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs.  Before administering any sedative, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, taking note of any current medications.

Here is an overview of some of the most common types of options for comfort dentistry:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative.  It is delivered through a nose hood, and is administered throughout the entire procedure.  Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being.  Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure.  In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt. While your treatment is performed, our doctors and staff carefully monitor your vital signs to ensure that your experience is as safe as possible. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.

Oral Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear even coming into the office. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a state of anxiolysis.  Though these medications do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses.  This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure.  Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment and sometimes even the evening beforehand.

If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please contact our office.