If you try to visit the dentist as rarely as possible, you’re far from alone. Many people of all ages feel anxious at the idea of going to the dentist. The dentist’s office can be a frightening place. For many people, they may associate it with uncomfortable past experiences. Some patients with dental anxiety may find that simple education and a friendly environment help. For others, however, these strategies may not help. These patients may be interested in sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is just what it sounds like: the patient is sedated for the duration of their treatment to keep them feeling calm and relaxed. Sedation can help patients remain calm for regular dental maintenance. It can also help your dentist to complete more work in a single visit. With more work per visit, you can make fewer trips to our office for fewer incidents of anxiety.
Types of Sedation
At East Tennessee Periodontics, we offer a full complement of sedation options. Dr. Robert Cain can recommend an option based on your health and dental needs.
The benefit of conscious sedation is that you can remain awake and responsive throughout your treatment. However, the medication will keep you calm and eliminate pain. We offer two kinds of conscious sedation:
Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is generally considered one of the safest sedatives around. Dentists have been using it for many years, so there is no need to worry. The laughing gas is administered through a special mask. The best part of nitrous oxide is how fast it works: once the mask is in place, the gas starts working very quickly. Likewise, once the mask is removed, the effects wear off quickly. This means that you can drive yourself both to and from your appointment without help.
Oral sedation comes in a pill form. You may be provided with the pill before your appointment and instructed to take it before you come in. Because of this, and because oral conscious sedation tends to wear off more slowly than nitrous oxide, you may need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. Most patients say that oral sedation feels a bit like going to sleep, and after the effects wear off many people remember nothing of their appointment. If needed, nitrous oxide may be used with your oral sedation for the best effect.
IV sedation is administered intravenously in a controlled setting by a specially licensed dentist. Because the medicine goes directly into your bloodstream, it starts working very quickly. Most patients report falling into a deep sleep and don’t remember their treatment. We will carefully monitor your vital signs throughout your treatment to ensure your safety. Because there are some risks associated with this option, it is important to share your medical history so that we can adjust your dose. Because of the deep effects, it is very important to have a ride home.
Schedule Your Appointment
Has anxiety kept you from making regular dental appointments? Contact East Tennessee Periodontics in Knoxville, TN and ask about options for dental anxiety. We will do our best to make your comfortable getting the care you need. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or over the phone at (865) 280-1173.