Many patients experience dental anxiety, a leading cause of poor oral health in adults today. To give our patients as comfortable an experience as possible, Plano dentist Dr. Jacob Grapevine offers three forms of dental sedation. The goal of sedation dentistry is to relax you and increase your comfort level. Dental sedation can enable anxious and fearful patients to not only maintain their dental health but to receive the treatments they need to restore oral health after time away from the dentist.
Our team is compassionate and caring, taking the time to understand your needs and ensure that you feel comfortable during your visit with us. Unfortunately, a large number of people avoid going to the dentist unless absolutely necessary. Not only does this compromise oral health, but it also works to reinforce the irrational aversion to going to the dentist. Fortunately, there are techniques employed today by some dental practices that can all but eliminate the unpleasantness of professional oral care.
Sedation dentistry, or “sleep dentistry” as it is often called, is a series of anesthesia methods used in oral care to reduce patients’ anxiety and discomfort during procedures. There are several different ways in which it’s done, all of which offer a specific set of advantages to potential patients.
Whether a given patient needs a simple cavity filling or an advanced restorative procedure, the practice of sedation dentistry can do wonders to limit the mental and physical discomfort associated with treatment. There is good reason to consider sedation dentistry as an avenue to finally get the oral care you need with the varying options made available today.
Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, or laughing gas, is the most common method of sedation we use. This substance is inhaled through a mask prior to procedures. The patient can almost immediately expect anxiety and nervousness to subside significantly. It relaxes you during your appointment while still being aware of your surroundings and enables you to drive yourself home afterward. Patients remain fully conscious and aware, but simply do not experience the kind of mental stress that is often associated with oral procedures. Administered through a tiny cannula placed beneath the nose, Nitrous Oxide takes effect and wears off quickly and is well tolerated by most patients.
When used in combination with a local anesthetic, laughing gas is quite effective in eliminating oral health patients’ psychological aversion to the dentist’s office.
Oral Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation is a pill we prescribe that is taken before the procedure. It provides a moderate relaxation level similar to falling asleep. Oral sedation requires you to have an escort to and from the office. This powerful pain-killing and anti-anxiety medication can be used to improve dental patients’ experience. These medications are typically administered in one of two ways. Patients have the option to take an oral medication prior to the procedure, or to receive medication intravenously once they sit down in the patients’ chair.
Patients who choose these types of sedation describe their experience as sleep-like. Often, they have little to no memory of the procedure itself. Because these medications are more powerful and affect patients’ alertness, a ride to and from the office is required. Still, those with a serious fear of oral procedures might find these medications more effective.
IV Dental Sedation
A medical anesthesiologist administers intravenous or IV sedation in our office, and you are under his care for the entire length of the procedure. This is similar to a deep sleep, with little or no remembrance of the procedure.
Our focus is on each patient. We provide personal attention and care, with your concerns in mind. If you are interested in learning more about our sedation dentistry options, please contact us. We welcome patients who have been avoiding the dentist due to fear, anxiety, and embarrassment about the condition of their smile. Dr. Grapevine can help you reestablish your oral health for an improved quality of life and a boost to your self-confidence.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
Is dental sedation the only way to treat dental anxiety?
No. Sedation Dentistry is like a bandage for most patients. Some patients have no choice but to be put under sedation because of medical reasons. There are other ways you can treat your dental anxiety that do not involve dental sedation. Just talking through your dental fears with a friend or therapist can actually help you understand where they come from. This can drastically reduce your fears or even eliminate them.
What does dental sedation feel like?
Dental sedation options differ on how they are administered, but they do share some common traits. Expect to be in a happy, euphoric state the whole time you are under sedation. You will not be put completely to sleep, but you will feel like you are on the border of asleep and awake. You may become disoriented and temporarily forget what’s going on. You will be closely monitored as well.
Is it okay to go to sleep after sedation?
Yes. Taking a nap after getting home helps rid your body of any residual symptoms. Sleeping after dental sedation is safe as long as you are at home in a safe environment. Children that have undergone sedation may be drowsy for longer periods of time than adults.