Does a fear of the dentist cause you to avoid making a regularly scheduled appointment for a check-up or cleaning? Have you avoided going to the dentist, even though you have a toothache because you are afraid of having to sit in the dental chair and go through a complex procedure? If these situations sound familiar to you, you may want look into sedation dentistry.
Whether you are undergoing a simple procedure, such as a routine cleaning or a filling, or a complex procedure, such as dental implants or root canals, sedation dentistry can help even the most anxious individuals get the dental care they need.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
During a routine dental appointment, you will typically come into the office, sit in the chair, have some Novocain administered, and undergo your procedure. While undergoing your procedure, you are wide awake and aware of everything. That is what happens during a regular dentist appointment. However, should you choose sedation dentistry, things will be different.
With sedation dentistry, a mild sedative is administered after you arrive at the dentist’s office and sit in the chair for your appointment. The mild sedative places you in a dream-like state where you are calmed and relaxed. Once you are relaxed and calm, your dentist is able to perform any dental procedure without worrying about you flinching, stressing out, or becoming so anxious that you cannot get proper dental care.
What Mild Sedative is Used in Sedation Dentistry?
Every dentist has a different definition for sedation dentistry. Some dentists only use laughing gas, otherwise known as nitrous oxide, while others may use nitrous oxide and IV sedation.
At Smiles by Shields, our definition of sedation dentistry is the use of nitrous oxide. We believe that laughing gas is a safe, effective way to help calm anxious patients who are in need of dental care.
What to Expect When Laughing Gas is Used
Laughing gas is a relatively easy sedative to administer. No needles are involved and it is fast acting. In fact, after just a few minutes of inhaling laughing gas, you are already placed in a calm, dream-like state.
Administering laughing gas is extremely easy. You will be given a mask. The mask fits comfortably over your nose. Once placed over your nose, you will be encouraged to breathe as you normally would. This allows the nitrous oxide to start flowing through your body. After several minutes, you will start to feel sleepy and relaxed. When this happens, your dentist is ready to perform the planned procedure.
Even though you are calm and relaxed during the procedure as a result of the laughing gas, your dentist will still use local anesthetic. The local anesthetic will help you avoid feeling any pain as your dentist performs any dental work.
After your dentist has completed your dental procedure, the nitrous oxide is stopped and you will be given pure oxygen. The pure oxygen, which is administered through the nasal mask, will help restore you to normal consciousness.
Are There Any Special Instructions for Using Laughing Gas?
What makes laughing gas so easy to use for sedation dentistry is there are relatively no special instructions a patient needs to follow either before or after their appointment. Patients do not have to avoid eating for a certain period of time before their appointment and they don’t have to make arrangements for a friend or family member to drive them home. Patients who undergo sedation dentistry are able to arrive at their appointment and leave just as they would any other appointment.
Learn More About Sedation Dentistry by Schedule an Appointment with Smiles by Shields
Smiles by Shields, a holistic dental clinic located in Jacksonville, Florida, understands that many people avoid going to the dentist because they are afraid or anxious. That is why we offer sedation dentistry to our patients.
Feel free to call our office and speak to our office staff about our sedation dentistry. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about sedation dentistry.