Many people avoid visiting their dentists out of a fear of discomfort and pain. Let’s face it—the idea of going into a dentist’s office, having them scrape away at your sensitive teeth with metal implements, drill little holes in them with lasers or steel bits, or wrench whole teeth out of your gums with pliers is not at all appealing. Even the whirring of dentistry tools can make people uncomfortable. All dentist offices have some form of anaesthetic available for their procedures, but in some cases, not even this can remove the trepidation that may prevent you from visiting your dentist.
In order to remove the fear that accompanies so many patients on their way to the dentist, many offices practice sedation dentistry. This helps soothe away the fear of what may occur during an appointment or procedure while also mitigating some pain.
Types of Sedation
There are various methods of sedation we use in our office at Lynn Dental Care. The method used depends largely on the patient and the type of procedure being done.
- Nitrous oxide: Commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” this substance is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a breathing mask. The gas is the mildest form of sedation, and invokes feelings of relaxation, calm, and mild euphoria. Its side effects include feelings of heaviness in your limbs and lightheadedness, but these are completely harmless. After the procedure is over, it is safe to drive yourself home once the effects wear off.
- Oral sedation: Another mild form of sedation is through a pill taken orally. This medication induces a feeling of complete relaxation, removing the feelings of anxiety one may have about a procedure. The pill should be taken 40 minutes to an hour before the procedure to give it a chance to take effect. It takes a while for the effects to wear off, however, so transportation home should be arranged beforehand. This method is especially nice for those with a fear of needles.
- Conscious I.V. sedation: For procedures such as surgeries, intravenous sedation is often used. This method introduces the sedative directly into the bloodstream and allows adjustable levels of sedation. The level can be tweaked throughout the procedure for the patient’s comfort. Intravenous sedation takes effect almost instantly, but it will require that someone else take you home afterward since it takes a while to wear off. During the procedure, you will remain responsive in a sort of dreamlike state, and may not have any memory of the procedure afterward.
Each of these methods are designed to make your visit to our office as pleasant and relaxed as possible. We also offer our patients music and television to further help you relax. In addition to the sedative, local anesthetic is used to eliminate pain from the procedure. In many cases, the sedative can be used to temporarily suppress any fear of needles you may have.
At Lynn Dental Care, we do everything in our power to make your visit a good experience. We also have the education and experience needed to perform each procedure properly with minimal discomfort to you afterward. For more information or to set up a consultation, contact us today.