People often fear regular dental visits and routine treatments. This fear can stem from negative experiences in childhood, painful treatments in adulthood, or can sometimes be influenced by stereotypes portrayed in TV and movies. Fear and anxiety can cause individuals to avoid seeking treatment for serious dental issues, putting them at greater risk for complications. Our practice understands and empathizes with the difficulties these fears and anxieties pose. We strive to offer solutions in a comfortable and relaxing setting, enabling patients to take the important and necessary steps towards achieving their optimal oral health.
Sedation dentistry provides calming and relaxing treatment options for patients who have heightened fear or anxiety about dental visits. Sedation can be administered in many forms including oral and local.
Oral sedation eases a patient’s anxiety without the need for IV’s or needles. This is an excellent option for patients who have difficulty getting numb from lidocaine and similar agents. The patient will take a small pill 1-hour prior to the appointment. This pill may make the patient drowsy, so a companion will need to escort the patient to and from the appointment. The patient will arrive at the office feeling calm and relaxed and will be escorted to a treatment room where s/he will be wrapped in a warm blanket. Once settled into the treatment room, the dentist and team will perform the exam or procedure, while continually monitoring the patient’s vital signs to ensure health and safety. After the treatment is completed, the companion will escort the patient home to rest and sleep for a few hours while the effects of the oral sedative wear off.
In order to reduce the pain and discomfort of certain procedures, dentists will use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment site. Medicine such as lidocaine, or similar numbing agents, is injected into the gum and inner cheek to eliminate sensation in the area. The numbness will generally last a few hours after the procedure, gradually fading away. Because the numbness only affects the sensitivity of the teeth and jaw, the patient remains awake and alert, able to respond quickly to any requests or instructions from the doctor. Also, because patients are not mentally sedated, patients can usually dive home or return to work immediately following the procedure.
Do you fear your regular dental exams or necessary treatments? You may be a candidate for sedation dentistry!
Candidates include individuals who have the following:
- High levels or fear or anxiety regarding dental visits
- A past traumatic dental experience
- Difficulty getting numb for procedures
- Sensitive gag reflex
- Highly sensitive teeth
- Limited time constraints to complete a dental procedure
- Complex dental issues
- Strong aversion to the noises, smells, and tastes associated with a dental appointment
- Fear or embarrassment about teeth