Let’s be honest. No matter how much you might look forward to cosmetic dental treatments, there are very few people who actually enjoy their dental appointments. Many patients are fearful that they will experience oral sensitivity during their treatments, and no one likes the way it feels to have other peoples’ hands poking around in your mouth! Have you ever met anyone who looks forward to anesthetic injections? Probably not.
If you experience fear or anxiety about having dental work or dental cleanings performed, Scottsdale AZ cosmetic dentist Dr. Rod W. Gore has a possible solution. Dental sedation can help you relax during your time in the dental chair and have a less traumatic experience.
What is Dental Sedation?
Sedation dentistry refers to the practice of administering medications to patients to help them have a more positive dental appointment. Some of these medications reduce anxiety, some may make you sleepy, and some can reduce oral sensitivity. Sedation may be a good idea if you experience:
- Anxiety before or during your dental appointment
- Discomfort in the dental chair
- A hypersensitive gag-reflex that interferes with dental procedures
- A feeling of panic at the sounds, lights, and smells of a dental office
- Bad memories of past dental appointments that didn’t go well
Sedation can also be helpful if you need several dental procedures and want to have them all completed in one long appointment.
Three Levels of Dental Sedation
Dental sedation comes in three different forms. Talk to Dr. Gore if you are interested in using one of the following types of sedation for an upcoming appointment:
- Oral Conscious Sedation: This treatment consists of anti-anxiety medication that is taken before the dental appointment. It is best for mild-to-moderate dental anxiety and discomfort, and will help you feel less nervous before and during your appointment. The medications used in oral conscious sedation are similar to those given to nervous flyers before they board an airplane. It will not render you unconscious, but it might make you feel so relaxed that you fall asleep naturally during your appointment.
- Nitrous Oxide Gas: Sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide has been used safely in dental setting for many decades. The gas is administered via a nose mask, and the amount of medication can be adjusted to suit each patient’s needs. In addition to reducing anxiety, nitrous oxide has an analgesic (painkilling) effect, so it can be a good choice for patients with sensitive teeth or gums. This form of sedation is best for mild-to-moderate dental anxiety and can safely be combined with oral conscious sedation.
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation: With IV sedation, anti-anxiety and/or painkilling medicines are administered directly into the bloodstream. This deeper form of sedation is the only option that may make you feel like you’ve been “knocked out” during your treatment. Technically, patients are not rendered unconscious during IV sedation, but they enter a deep state of relaxation and frequently have no memory of the experience after the treatment has ended. IV sedation is often a good way to address multiple symptoms that may cause moderate-to-severe dental anxiety.
If you take advantage of our sedation dentistry options, please be advised that you might need to have a friend or family member present to drive you home from your appointment.
The medicines used in oral conscious sedation and IV sedation can slow your reflexes and impair your judgment. This makes it dangerous to operate a vehicle while you are still affected by the medications. Nitrous oxide gas, however, is the only sedation option that stops affecting you soon after the medication is removed. Therefore, you can drive yourself home after nitrous oxide, but not the others.
Contact Our Office to Learn More
Contact Scottsdale, AZ cosmetic dentist Dr. Rod W. Gore to learn more about dental sedation for an upcoming appointment. During your consultation we will discuss your medical and dental history to determine whether you are a good candidate for using dental sedation at your next appointment. Dentistry does not have to be a high-stress activity! Call us at 480-585-6225 to learn more about sedation dentistry.