If you’re scared of the dentist but need treatment, you can quickly feel overwhelmed with what to do. It’s easy to procrastinate when that happens, letting your appointment slide until the problem worsens. Luckily, safe dental sedation can put you at ease and help you face your fears.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses specific medications, such as nitrous oxide, to “sedate” patients before dental procedures. Many people think it’s strictly for root canals, dental implants, tooth extraction, or other lengthy procedures. But carefully-administered dental sedation drugs can prove invaluable for routine appointments, especially for those suffering from dental anxieties.
Would I Benefit from Dental Sedation?
This answer is different for everyone, but you might want to consider dental sedation if you (or a loved one) have/has:
- A fear of needles and shots.
- Extreme tooth sensitivity.
- Negative past dental experiences.
- A sensitive gag reflex.
- Anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist.
- A significant procedure coming up.
- Difficulty controlling movements.
- A low pain threshold.
Sedation allows dentists to work faster and thoroughly so you can visit us less. Definitely a bonus if you have significant dental fear.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Before we create a sedation plan, we’ll conduct an in-depth health history, including any medications you take or conditions we need to consider (including pregnancy).
We’ll provide guidelines so you can know exactly what to expect, including if you need to avoid any food or drink before or after your appointment.
Once you are settled in, we’ll administer the agreed-upon sedation and a local anesthetic to make sure the area we’re working on is numb. Then, it’s go time!
What to Do After Your Appointment
Depending on the type of dental sedation drugs we use, we may recommend having a family member or friend drive you home after your appointment. Because the drugs can take a while to wear off, we want to ensure you get home safely.
Dakota Dental is a Non-Judgemental Zone
Dental fear keeps some people from visiting the dentist regularly. If that sounds familiar, know that we won’t judge or shame you! We know that’s not the way. Instead, we’ll listen to your fears and anxieties, doing our best to soothe them.
Finding the Right Sedation Level for You
There are four different levels of dental sedation. Finding the right one depends on your needs, health history, and preferences:
- Minimal Sedation. The patient is awake but relaxed.
- Moderate Sedation. Patients may slur their words or forget some (or most) of the procedure.
- Deep Sedation. Patients are almost unconscious but could still be awakened if needed.
- General Anesthesia. Patients are unconscious.
The family dentists at Dakota Dental offer both adult and pediatric sedation. The latter might come in handy if you have a small child who is nervous or unable to sit still for a dental procedure. Depending on the appointment type (and anxiety level), we can work together to find the right plan for you or your loved one.
Your Local Sedation Dentist
Relaxing in the dentist’s chair is difficult – if not impossible – for some people, and dental fear remains extremely common in kids and adults. Dakota Dental is committed to helping families feel at ease in their office so you can continue to have a healthy smile now and far into the future.