Sedation dentistry is extremely beneficial for individuals who experience anxiety at the thought of visiting the dentist. This type of dental treatment involves the use of oral medications, IV sedation, or laughing gas in order to promote relaxation and improve comfort. Here at Smiles by Shields Dentistry, we offer sedation dentistry, and we want to let you know how it can help you.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
- Reduces Anxiety and Fear during the Dental Appointment
- Reduces the Individual’s Gag Reflex
- Promotes a Sense of Wellbeing and Calmness
- Dental Procedures Often Feel Like They’ve Only Lasted a Few Minutes
Good Candidates for Sedation Dentistry
Good candidates for sedation dentistry include individuals who are very fearful of going to the dentist. They experience a sense of dread or have panic attacks at the mere thought of walking into a dental office. Sedation dentistry is of importance for individuals who have a sensitive gag reflex that may cause them to gag or feel like they are going to choke during the procedure. Individuals may also want sedation dentistry if they are going to have a lengthy procedure performed, like a root canal.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are several different levels of sedation dentistry. The type of sedation you receive will be dependent on your dentist’s experience and what they are authorized to administer.
IV sedation is exactly as it sounds. Sedation medications are administered through an IV. The dental anesthesiologist controls the level of medication you receive during the procedure. This type of sedation does not fully put the individual to sleep but does make them extremely groggy.
This sedation requires some preparation on the part of the individual. Most notably, the person to receive the sedation should not eat or drink anything for at least eight hours prior to the dental appointment. The individual must also bring a driver with them as they will not be able to drive after receiving the IV sedation.
Oral medications can also be used to help with anxiety and fear during dental procedures. These medicines are taken just prior to your dental appointment so that they are actively working while you receive your dental treatment. Since these medications often take several hours to wear off, you’ll have to bring a driver with you to your dental appointment.
Laughing gas or nitrous oxide is the least invasive type of sedation dentistry. However, the term laughing gas is slightly misleading. You may not actually dissolve into fits of laughter. Instead, you should simply feel very relaxed and your nervousness, anxiety, and fear should dissipate within a few minutes. The nitrous oxide is administered through a nose mask. Once the dental procedures are complete, the effects of the gas are reversible with oxygen.
Nitrous Oxide at Our Dentistry Office in Jacksonville, FL
Here at our Jacksonville, FL dental office, we offer nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is an odorless gas that can be administered through a nose mask for nearly all dental procedures, including teeth cleanings, fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions.
After a few deep breathes of the odorless gas, you will start to feel relaxed and perhaps even a little bit groggy. This is completely normal. Once you are not experiencing any fear or anxiety, our dentist will begin examining your mouth and performing the needed procedures. After all the dental work has been completed, we will administer a few minutes of oxygen therapy to reverse the effect of the nitrous oxide. This will return you to your normal level of consciousness.
To learn more about sedation dentistry and to schedule your next dental checkup and teeth cleaning, call Smiles By Shields at 904-731-0777.