Sedation Dentistry Can Put You At Ease
Do you get nervous by just the thought of going to the dentist? If you can feel your heart racing or you’re starting to sweat, just know that you are not the only one who feels this way. Many patients experience dental anxiety. It is a leading cause of poor oral health in adults today. In fact, close to 60% of people have some level of anxiety ahead of their dental appointment. Even if it’s not necessarily enough to make them cancel. However, if you’re starting to get cold feet ahead of your visit, Dr. Grapevine has options for you to consider.
To give our patients as comfortable of an experience as possible, Dr. Jacob Grapevine offers three forms of dental sedation: nitrous oxide (or laughing gas), oral-conscious sedation, and IV sedation. The goal of sedation dentistry is to relax you and increase your comfort level during your dental care visit. Dental sedation can enable anxious and fearful patients to maintain their dental health. This practice can also help them receive the dental treatment they need to restore oral health after time away from the dentist.
Sedation dentistry, or “sleep dentistry”, is a series of anesthesia methods dentists use in oral care to reduce patients’ anxiety and discomfort during procedures. There are several different ways in which a dentist can administer sedation. All of which offer a specific set of advantages to potential patients.
Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation
Nitrous oxide can be a fantastic solution for keeping up with your routine exams and cleanings as well as just about any other treatment you need, all while feeling anxiety-free. It is the most common method of sedation we use.
You will inhale the gas through a nasal mask prior to procedures. You can expect anxiety and nervousness to almost immediately go away. 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 can come with oral health procedures. Nitrous Oxide takes effect and wears off quickly, so most patients tolerate it very well. When your dentist uses laughing gas in combination with a local anesthetic, it’s quite effective in eliminating patients’ psychological aversion to the dentist office.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
Dr. Grapevine and his team have the training necessary to provide sedation dentistry in-house for your convenience. Once you inhale the gas through a dedicated nasal mask, the sedative travels very quickly through your body. This results in a light yet euphoric effect that works to keep you at ease. While other sedatives can take time to take effect, nitrous oxide is virtually instant. The on-the-fly capabilities of nitrous oxide also make it easier for Dr. Grapevine to adjust the amount he administers to help you get comfortable.
Keep in mind that nitrous oxide is not meant to put you to sleep like general anesthesia. Rather you will be in a deep state of relaxation, and perhaps a little light-headed. You may even notice a tingling sensation in your arms or legs. What’s important is that you feel calm and comfortable. In some cases, patients don’t even remember a lot of their treatment, and some would prefer to keep it that way if their anxiety is particularly severe.
Once Dr. Grapevine completes treatment, we will remove the sedative. As you begin breathing normal air, rather than oxygen mixed with nitrous oxide, the effects will quickly begin to wear off. You’ll even be able to drive yourself home!
Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Right for Me?
Nitrous oxide is ideal for those who have fears or anxieties about dentistry, but it’s hardly the only group that can benefit from its use. For example, we may recommend it for patients who have:
- A sensitive gag reflex.
- Difficulty holding the jaw open for long periods of time.
- Discomfort in the neck or back.
- Jaw pain (especially for those with TMD).
- Tooth sensitivity.
We cannot recommend sedation if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, or glaucoma. Ahead of your appointment, Dr. Grapevine will review your medical history in more detail to make sure you are eligible for sedation.
Are There Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide?
There are no lingering side effects of nitrous oxide, which is common for stronger sedatives. You won’t need to have anyone drive you from the practice following the completion of your treatment. Of course, Dr. Grapevine is happy to answer any questions you have about your aftercare.
Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation is a pill that we prescribe, and you take before we start dental work. 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 improve dental patients’ experience.
Patients who choose this type of sedation describe their experience as sleep-like. Often, they have little to no memory of the procedure itself. Because this medication is more powerful and affect patients’ alertness, the patient will require a ride to and from the dental office. Still, those with a serious fear of oral procedures might find this medication 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 want to learn 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.
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 get dental 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 a dentist administers them, but they do share some common traits. Expect to be in a happy, euphoric state the whole time you are under sedation. Your sedation dentist will not put you completely to sleep, but you may feel like you are on the border of asleep and awake. You may become disoriented and temporarily forget what’s going on. Your dental team will closely monitor you 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.
Why choose Dr. Jacob Grapevine
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, our dental practice uses techniques that can all but eliminate the unpleasantness of professional oral care. Whether you need a simple cavity filling or an advanced restorative procedure, the practice of sedation dentistry can do wonders to limit the mental and physical discomfort. Dr. Grapevine can help you reestablish your oral health for a better quality of life and a boost to your self-confidence.
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. Contact our dental office at (972) 449-5759 today or request an appointment online anytime.