Are you apprehensive about going to the dentist? Have you put off dental care for years because of dental anxiety? Would you enjoy having all your dental needs taken care of and afterwards remember very little about your visit?
Dental fear and anxiety is a common condition. It’s estimated that up to 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because of these fears, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. So if you’re among this number, you are not alone.
Sedation dentistry is done with a calming aid; this can be nitrous gas, an oral pill or IV conscious sedation. With sedation dentistry, a patient is not put to sleep, but rather put in a calming state that may feel like sleep.
Nitrous oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas,” is a gas that is breathed in through your nose while we care for your teeth. The gas relaxes you and can even produce a mild euphoric sensation. It’s very safe.
We like nitrous oxide, because it’s simple to adjust the dose perfectly to meet each patient’s unique needs. Additionally, the effects wear off very quickly, which means that if you are only using nitrous oxide for your sedation, you will be able to take yourself to and from your appointment and continue on with your day following your treatment.
Oral sedation provides a deeper level of sedation for additional relaxation. As with nitrous oxide, you will remain alert throughout your appointment (although some patients do become so comfortable and relaxed that they drift off!). You will also be unlikely to remember many details from your procedure, easing your anxiety around future visits.
If you opt for oral sedation, you will need a friend or relative to drive you to and from the appointment, since the effects linger for a longer time than they do with nitrous oxide.
For our patients who need a little extra help, we are proud to offer IV sedation dentistry. Dr. Kristen Klement Oldham is IV sedation certified and will work with you to make sure that you have a comfortable, pain-free experience at every single dental appointment. IV sedation can give you the confidence you need to get the dental care you deserve.