Studies show that somewhere between 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing their dentist out of fear. These people would prefer enduring painful, infected, discolored, and damaged teeth than sit in a dentist’s chair. And when they do agree to make an appointment, they live in dread of it all week. (Don’t worry, we don’t take it personally.)
Sedation dentistry uses medication to provide a more relaxing experience for those patients who might otherwise avoid dental care because of their fears. Sometimes referred to as “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry, it is now offered by thousands of dentists across the country, including Dr. Elizabeth Duling.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?
Sedation dentistry might be right for you if you avoid dental visits due to fear. Often times, that phobia 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 ideal 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, popularly known as “laughing gas,” is an effective sedative that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose. It will not render you unconscious but you will feel more calm and comfortable about the procedure. You will still be able to carry on a conversation with the dentist and the effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed. You should even be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Oral sedation relaxes you and reduces your feelings of discomfort and pain. You are aware of your surroundings and can carry on a conversation, but you’ll be less responsive to what is happening. You may even feel like taking a nap during the procedure.
The pill 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. Find a friend or family member to drive you home if you have taken oral sedation.
IV sedation is administered through the vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation, and it allows you to be either almost or completely “out” during your procedure. Not all dentists offer IV sedation, so contact your dentist prior to the procedure to check.
Sedation Dentistry in Owen’s Cross Roads, AL
Dr. Duling strives to make sure all of her patients feel comfortable at her office in Owen’s Cross Roads, AL. 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 256.202.4186 for more details and to schedule your appointment.