Going to the dentist may not excite you. However, there is a difference between simply dreading your dental visit and experiencing real anxiety and fear at the thought of sitting in a dental chair. If you are not getting the proper dental care you need due to anxiety, you are not alone. According to Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, 30 to 40 million Americans dodge trips to the dentist due to fear! What you may not know, however, is that there is a solution for your dental anxiety and finding a dentist who offers sedation dentistry is key.
Reasons for Dental Anxiety
There are many reasons why the dentist can make you feel anxious or afraid. There are also various levels of dental anxiety. One patient may have sweaty palms while sitting in the waiting room, while another patient may experience a racing heart or paralyzing fear at the mere thought of going to the dentist. Regardless of how much anxiety or fear dental care brings for you, sedation dentistry can be the answer to relaxing at the dental office and getting the proper dental treatments you need for optimal health.
Patients can have dental anxiety that is rooted in a variety of issues, aversions or fears. Sedation dentistry should be considered if you can identify with one or more of the following:
- Aversion to smell, sights or sounds of dentist (latex, dental drills, etc)
- Fear of needles or pain
- Sensitive gag reflex
- Trouble sitting still or physical/mental limitations
- Bad experience at the dentist as a child
- Lengthy or complex dental appointment
The Benefits of Nitrous Oxide Sedation
It is important to note that despite the term “sedation dentistry,” you will not be put to sleep. Oral sedation from a dentist is not the same as general anesthesia. Therefore, the risks are very low and recovery is not necessary.
There are many types of sedation dentistry. However, the most used version is nitrous oxide, also called “laughing gas.” This involves wearing a small nosepiece during your treatment and breathing in a colorless gas of nitrous oxide. This sedative puts patients in a relaxed, euphoric state but still allows them to stay awake and communicate with the dental staff as needed. Our pediatric patients make ideal candidates for this type of sedation dentistry.
Still not sure if you qualify for sedation dentistry? Don’t be afraid to ask. The following are highlighted advantages of using nitrous oxide sedation at your dental visit:
- Fast acting, easily adjusted
- Full relaxation and unbothered by dental work being performed
- Safe for kids and adults
- Can be used for a routine dental cleaning
- Sedative effects leave within minutes of removing mask
- Safely drive yourself home
Other Ways to Create a Comfortable Dental Visit
While sedation dentistry is the most proven and effective means to securing a stress-free dental visit, there are other ways to relieve your anxiety. First, choose a dental practice that caters to comfort. This could be as simple as a friendly staff, comfortable chairs in the waiting room, soothing music or the ability to watch TV during your dental procedure. Office amenities that promote comfort and create a home-like environment can help you forget that you are at the dentist. Don’t be afraid to visit the dental office first for a tour or to meet the dentist before scheduling your appointment – you may find that you are more at ease than you think.
A sedation dentist in Marietta, Dr. Porcaro is a talented family dentist who proudly offers nitrous oxide sedation to patients who have difficulty relaxing in the dental chair. We do our best to remove the obstacles that prevent patients from experiencing dental care in a positive, stress-free way. Call now to learn more about how to get sedation dentistry at your next dental visit in Marietta.