Patients who could use a little help relaxing in the dental chair can rejoice when they visit our office. We are pleased to offer sedation dentistry — a method of administering medication during a dental treatment to help you rest and relax throughout the process. From light to more significant, there are a few options in sedation dentistry. Keep reading to find out how it works and which method may be best for you.
Nitrous oxide, a.k.a. laughing gas, is something you breathe in through a small face mask. It is placed over your nose a few minutes before the treatment and removed soon after it is complete. Nitrous oxide will usually make you feel light and tingly — and maybe even like you are happy to be at the dentist’s office.
You do not need to prepare anything to have a treatment with nitrous oxide. And, because the effects wear off almost as soon as the mask is removed, you can drive yourself away from the office and resume your usual activities right away.
Oral Conscious Sedation
For more significant relaxation, patients may want to choose oral conscious sedation. About an hour before you come into the office you will take a common anti-anxiety medication (like Xanax). Its effects will have already taken over by the time you are settling into the dental chair — and you are ready to relax your way through the procedure.
Because the medication may affect your ability to drive, you should plan to have someone drive you to and from your dental appointment and then check on you throughout the rest of the day. Oral conscious sedation may result in slight nausea or inability to remember events from the procedure (possibly a good thing for patients with dental anxiety).
Other Ways to Help Dental Anxiety
Nitrous oxide and/or oral conscious sedation can help you to relax in the dental chair, but there are a few other ways to ease anxiety or fear of the dentist. If you dread having your teeth looked at, try the following:
- Talk to us about your anxiety — especially if you know of anything that we could do that would help you to relax.
- Learn everything you can about the procedure that you are undergoing. Often, the key to easing fear is just removing the mystery.
- Find out what caused the anxiety to develop in the first place. Was it a bad experience you had as a kid? Identifying the root can help you find coping skills or techniques for overcoming the fear.
- Ask plenty of questions throughout the process.
- Don’t forget that you are seeking necessary care for your healthy, long-lasting smile!
We Can Help You Relax
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a scary process — especially when you visit someone who offers sedation dentistry. To learn more about your options or to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact Blue Sage Dental today.