Dentistry for Anxious Patients
At SmileCOS Dentistry, we understand that some of our patients may not be comfortable in the dental chair. Some people experience anxiety associated with professional dental treatments, usually stemming from a fear of pain. If this sounds like you, then sedation dentistry may be able to help!
We offer sedation dentistry because we want our patients to have the best possible experience at our office. To provide more comfortable care and alleviate anxiety, we may recommend nitrous oxide, oral sedation, IV sedation, or in rare cases, general anesthesia. The type of sedation we recommend depends on the treatment you need and your level of anxiety.
Who Qualifies for Sedation Dentistry?
Anyone healthy enough to undergo dental treatment should be able to qualify for sedation. Ultimately, sedation dentistry is designed to help people that avoid dental offices due to fear and anxiety, maintain excellent oral health. We may utilize sedation tactics for any procedure, from routine cleanings to lengthy oral surgeries.
Deeper levels of sedation, such as IV medications, are usually reserved for longer, more invasive procedures. Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, we often utilize local anesthetic as well. A local anesthetic is a medication that numbs the teeth and surrounding tissues to eliminate pain and discomfort.
You have probably heard of nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” the most common form of dental sedation. Inhaled minimal sedation, or nitrous oxide, is a safe, effective, and cost-effective way to relax anxious patients. Patients often report feelings of euphoria and tranquility once the gas takes effect.
During treatment, a facemask that is attached to a tank pumps nitrous oxide and oxygen through your nose. The gas should take and lose effect almost instantly, making it the only form of sedation that allows patients to drive afterwards. Other forms of sedation can last for hours after your appointment, meaning you need to arrange a ride to and from our office.
Oral, or enteral sedation, is another popular method that comes in the form of a pill or liquid.
Andrew Miller, DDS will instruct you to take this medication orally about an hour before your procedure. Like nitrous oxide, oral sedation allows you to remain conscious but relaxed throughout treatment.
Oral medication may be a good choice for you because it can produce minimal to moderate levels of sedation, depending on the dose. At higher doses, some patients may even fall asleep during their procedure.
IV Sedation and General Anesthesia
IV, or intravenous sedation, is the process of administering medications directly into the bloodstream through a needle. This form of sedation is typically reserved for patients with severe anxiety or those in need of lengthy procedures. IV sedation puts you in a sort of “twilight” state, somewhere between being awake and being unconscious.
In rare instances, general anesthesia is also used in dentistry, typically during complex oral or facial surgeries. Both IV sedation and general anesthesia require the supervision of a licensed anesthesiologist. As a result, these sedation methods are less common than oral medication and nitrous oxide.
Schedule Your Appointment Now!
If you would like to learn more about our treatments, including sedation dentistry, we are happy to help! Call (719) 394-3304 to schedule your appointment now!