Overcoming Anxiety – What You Should Know about Sedation Dentistry

| February 16, 2016

dental technologyFor many of us, even a simple teeth cleaning can cause serious anxiety. The logical, adult voice in your head tells you that going to the dentist is important – but that does not usually make it any easier.

Thankfully, there are modern solutions for those of us who struggle with this anxiety. We are happy to offer a range of sleep dentistry services and sedation dentistry. However, if you are not familiar with the techniques, that knowledge may not ease your mind just yet. Read on for what you need to know about sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Simply put, sedation dentistry involves the safe use of medication to calm and relax a patient during a dental procedure.

This method can be as minor as taking diazepam the night before a procedure to calm one’s nerves up to being placed under general anesthesia. Generally, sedation is performed to one of four degrees, depending on your level of anxiety and our recommendations.

Light Sedation

Usually achieved with nitrous oxide (laughing gas), this type of sedation is performed with a comfortable nasal apparatus, before anesthetic is administered. The effects can be as weak or strong as your dentist feels necessary, and will wear off before it’s time to drive home.

Moderate Sedation

Moderate sedation is achieved either with laughing gas or with IV sedation. This method works more quickly, and it also allows your dentist to have more precise control of the level of relaxation.

You will still be awake under this form of sedation, but you may not remember much. Your speech will probably be slurred as well, and you may have a headache afterward.

Deep Sedation

During deep sedation, the patient is right on the cusp of staying awake. Patients may have trouble responding to commands at this point, and they definitely will not remember the procedure.

Going completely under with IV sedation requires closer monitoring but guarantees the patient will be asleep through whatever procedure needs to be done.

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

No matter the degree of sedation, sleep dentistry has a wide range of benefits.

For those of us who start to sweat at the thought of the dentist chair, light sedation is painlessly applied and works quickly. After that, dental anxiety is suppressed or disappears altogether.

An added benefit to sedation dentistry is that you can comfortably spend more time in the dentist’s chair. Lengthy procedures can be finished in one sitting, or multiple cavities filled, limiting your number of visits.

Aside from anxiety, sedation helps patients with strong gag reflexes, or ones who have other conditions that make sitting still for long periods of time difficult.

Grandview Dental Care’s Options

Dental anxiety can be a serious issue, and we want you to feel comfortable in the dentist chair, no matter the procedure. To help with that, we offer a number of safe sedation options, including:

  • Gentle numbing: local anesthesia that is applied directly to the surface of your teeth or gums, without the need for needles.
  • Light Sedation: If needed, we will recommend laughing gas for your treatment. A certified team member monitors each patient closely while under sedation.
  • Deep sleep: We are proud to say that Grandview Dental Care is one of the few Columbus dentists licensed to perform IV sedation. Under IV sedation, you will be monitored closely by our team and have your procedure finished safely and comfortably. In addition, Dr. Thompson is one of the few Columbus dentists to have completed the training necessary to earn his Conscious Sedation Dentistry Permit.

Whether the thought of the dentist chair makes you mildly uncomfortable or even prevents you from making a needed appointment, we want you to feel comfortable on your next visit. Contact us to learn more about your sedation dentistry options.