At Epic Family Dentistry of Carrollton, we treat nervous patients of all ages every day. We strive to create a welcoming and calming environment that can help absolutely anyone relax, but for those who need a little extra help, sedation dentistry is always an option. With the techniques detailed below, we can make unwanted thoughts go away and protect a patient from feeling physical discomfort at the same time. If you’d be interested in using sedation at your next dental appointment, give us a call today, and we’ll be happy to go over your options so we can ensure your comfort.
If you experience mild to moderate dental phobia or require an involved procedure, oral conscious sedation will likely be recommended. This will come in the form of a pill that your dentist will prescribe you to take at a specific time on the day of your appointment. That way, by the time you make it to our office, you’ll already be mentally and physically relaxed. With this form of sedation, you’ll remain awake the entire time, but the appointment will seem to go by very fast, and you’ll likely have little to no memory of it afterward.
For patients who are nervous, anxious, or have another reason that they are uncomfortable in the dental chair, oral conscious sedation may be a great solution. There are no needles or masks involved. Once we have reviewed your medical history, the medications you are taking, and any allergies that you have, we can determine whether oral conscious sedation is a good option for you. If so, your dentist will prescribe you a small pill that you need to take before your visit. The effects are long-lasting and will kick in by the time your treatment begins.
Once you can feel the effects of the pill, you will be deeply relaxed and calm. Patients often don’t completely remember their visit. However, you will still be conscious during the procedure, so you will be able to answer questions and respond to instructions in your relaxed state. We will be monitoring you throughout the procedure to ensure that you are safe. The effects of oral conscious sedation will linger for a while, so you should arrange for a trusted friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment.
Oral conscious sedation is a popular option. It is particularly beneficial for patients who:
Nitrous oxide has been used by dentists to help anxious patients for over 100 years, and you probably know it by another name: laughing gas! A patient simply has to breathe in the colorless, odorless gas through a small nasal mask, and within a few minutes, a warm blanket of relaxation should come over them. The mask will stay on for the entire appointment, and once it’s removed, the gas’ effects wear off very quickly. This means a patient can go straight back to their day after using nitrous oxide. It’s so gentle that we can even use it with young children!
We briefly mentioned in the first section that nitrous oxide is gentle enough that even young children can use it. That means it’s suitable for patients of all ages! So, if you have a fear of needles, you experience head/neck/jaw pain in the treatment chair, you have trouble feeling numb, or you struggle with dental-related anxiety, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with our Carrollton dental team to see if you’re a candidate. If you aren’t because you have a condition that makes it difficult to breathe through your nose or you’re pregnant, don’t worry – we’ll work with you to find a solution that will keep you calm and comfortable in the treatment chair.
Nitrous oxide is administered through a small mask, which will sit comfortably over your nose during your time in the treatment chair. After a few minutes of breathing the odorless, colorless gas through your nose, you’ll begin to feel your stress fade away. It won’t be long before you’re in a complete state of relaxation. From there, we can start your preventive or restorative care, closely monitoring how you feel throughout your entire appointment. If necessary, we can increase or decrease the flow of nitrous oxide to keep you comfortable.
The good news is that you won’t have to worry about any lingering grogginess with nitrous oxide – the effects dissipate within a matter of minutes! When you’re ready to leave our office, we’ll provide you with any aftercare instructions specific to the treatment you received, and then you’ll be good to go. You can drive yourself home and continue your day-to-day routine as usual!
At this point, perhaps you’d like to visit a sedation dentist in Carrolton. If so, that’s great news to hear! With their help, your future treatment should be smooth sailing. Before you get started, though, you may want to address your concerns about sedation dentistry. After all, doing so will help you confirm if this option is right for you. That being said, Epic Family Dentistry has listed the answers to some frequently asked sedation questions. They should give you a better idea of what to expect from dental sedatives. However, please call our office or set up a consultation if there’s anything else you’d like to know.
You can rest assured — sedation is perfectly safe for most patients. In fact, you likely wouldn’t have any issues with it at all.
First of all, our dentists work to ensure there won’t be complications. Before sedation, they’ll review your medical history and medications to see if there’d be negative interactions. Our team will also monitor your vitals while you’re sedated. That way, we can act quickly in case of a sudden development.
On the other hand, the sedatives used by our office have no harmful effects. Nitrous oxide, for example, is one of the safest options people can get. Meanwhile, oral conscious sedation relies on perfectly safe anti-anxiety medication.
How dental sedation feels will depend on the type you receive. Our practice uses nitrous oxide and oral sedation, meaning you can expect one of two experiences.
With nitrous oxide, you’ll likely feel relaxed, light, and euphoric. Some patients report having a slight tingling sensation in their arms and legs. Given its nickname as “laughing gas,” the chemical could also give you a fit of the giggles.
In contrast, oral conscious sedation gives you an even deeper relaxation. You may even have difficulty speaking and staying awake – some patients doze off due to it. Others report feeling “heavy.” Time may seem to change, too, with it appearing to pass more quickly.
As with how you experience it, dental sedation’s effects depend on the type you get.
Nitrous oxide is both fast-acting and fast-fading, so it’ll wear off just five minutes after you stop inhaling the gas. Therefore, you should be fine to drive yourself home or to work soon afterward.
The effect of oral conscious sedation remains active for the rest of the day. As such, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery for 24 hours after your procedure.
In general, sedation dentistry is both cost-effective and a good investment. For those with severe dental anxiety, or who need extensive dental work in one sitting, sedation can make a procedure much easier.
Plus, putting off needed care could result in more expensive treatments later. Paying for sedation thus saves you a lot of money down the road.