A large portion of the world’s population try everything they can to avoid the dentist. Some even end up in the emergency room for teeth-related pain, only to wind up, inevitably, at a dentist.
Why is that?
For some, it may be linked to a bad experience from their past, as a child or adult. For others – they simply may not know they should visit the dentist, or they believe the common stereotypes about dentists!
Whatever the case may be, many people live with pain, bad breath, and slowly decaying teeth that can and should see a dentist. But what should never happen – ever – is for a dentist to make these patients feel ashamed of their inaction. Quite the opposite!
Argyle Family Dental understands these feelings, especially if there has been past trauma from a dental experience. We want to do everything we can to help change your perception of what it means to go to the dentist.
Everything from our office layout to the methods we use is designed to help you feel at ease during your visit. The end result we want for you is a clean, healthy mouth with no pain – and part of how we accomplish that is through sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a method used by modern dentists to help shape a relaxing dental experience for patients. It’s especially useful for those who are afraid to come to the dentist (for any reason).
Most types of sedation are minimally invasive to the patient’s body and day, which makes this route particularly appealing for anyone who fears coming to the dentist. You can receive the care you need without hassle or anxiety.
What Are the Different Types of Sedation Dentistry?
As a general rule, there are four levels of sedation that a dentist can administer to a patient:
- Minor anxiety relief
- Minimal sedation
- Moderate sedation
- Deep sedation
Each has a varying level of benefits to the patient, as explained below:
Option #1: Minor Anxiety Relief
Certain people only need a little help getting into the dental chair. For these patients, nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, can be used to reduce anxiety. This, combined with headphones for music and blanket to get cozy, can be enough to make someone feel comfortable for a dental visit.
You will be able to drive to and from your visit yourself, so you don’t need to enlist a driver.
Option #2: Minimal – Oral Sedation
Minimal sedation allows a dentist to relieve anxiety a patient might feel before, and during, their visit while still maintaining a high degree of consciousness. You will be awake, be able to respond to the dentist’s directions, and be calm. You may even forget most of your appointment.
This is achieved through oral sedation dentistry, and it’s a process that lets you skip the needles and tubes.
About one hour before your appointment time, you’ll be asked to take a pill that helps you feel drowsy. You’ll need a companion to take you to and from your appointment, but by the time you arrive you’ll be very relaxed and ready for the dentist’s chair. Our office will even give you a nice, thick blanket to help you feel right at home.
Once you’re relaxed and in place, the dentist and his team will complete your exam while your vitals are monitored for health and safety. In short order, you’ll be sent home with your companion to rest up.
Option #3: Moderate Sedation
The third option, moderate sedation, allows a patient to go one step further in their sedation. They will likely not remember much of their time at the dentist, although they’ll still be conscious enough to respond to larger stimuli.
We enlist the help of a dental anesthesiologist for moderate sedation to administer intravenous medications that will keep you relaxed. You will need a companion for transportation to and from your visit.
Option #4: Deep Sedation
The final option, deep sedation, is reserved for patients who have a deep fear of dental visits. This method puts the patient at a very calm, immobile sedation on the edge of consciousness — and may involve IV sedation for your dentistry. You will not remember anything about the experience, and will have no recognition while under sedation.
How to Find the Best Sedation Dentistry Practice
Finding the best sedation dentistry practice in your area can pose a challenge – especially if you’re already fearful of going to the dentist.
As a general rule, look for these things when you’re vetting a sedation dentistry practice:
- The practice is willing and able to explain their practices and procedures with you without expectations.
- The dentist has years of experience.
- Reviews of the dentist in question are positive and reflective of the experience other patients have had.
- The dentist displays a high degree of expertise. This includes their professional staff.
Although it requires a bit of legwork, it’s always best to explore your options when it comes to sedation dentistry. It’s also worth asking how much sedation dentistry costs and what medications you’ll be asked to use with sedation dentistry.
Our dentist, Sean Kennelly, will be more than happy to help answer any questions or concerns you have about sedation dentistry with us!
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For Me?
Your fitness for sedation dentistry depends on a wide variety of aspects, and no two patients are the same. It’s best to consult with your dentist to see if you should be sedated, but as a general rule you’ll qualify if you experience any of these:
- Fear of scheduling or arriving to your appointment
- Previous dental experiences that were traumatic or painful
- A sensitive gag reflex
- Extra-sensitive teeth when brushing or at the dentist
- Complex issues with your teeth and gums
- Embarrassment about your teeth
- You have a hard time getting and staying numb
- A fear of shots or needles
- Strong dislike the taste of elements included in dental care
If you’re uncertain as to whether you fit the mold for someone who needs sedation dentistry, feel free to get in touch with us! We’d love to help you find a dentist that’s the right fit for your needs.
How to Prepare for Sedation Dentistry
Preparing for sedation dentistry appointment is fairly straightforward. To keep the process from causing more anxiety, here are the steps we recommend:
- Talk to a dentist to ensure you’ll be comfortable
- Schedule a time that works for you – it’s often best to avoid having stressful or demanding activities before or after. Early mornings are usually best since there is fasting involved with oral sedation.
- Complete preparatory actions as required by the dentist (such as oral sedation pills).
- Arrive on time with a companion.
That’s it! We’ll take care of the rest and leave you with a smile to be proud of.
Choose Comfort With Argyle Family Dental
Here at Argyle Family Dental, we understand the stress that comes sometimes when you’re visiting the dentist. But we don’t believe it should stand between you and a healthy smile.
It doesn’t matter if you need a routine cleaning or something more comprehensive— we can help you wear your best smile without fear or pain. Contact us today to learn more about sedation dentistry in Centennial, Colorado and see if we’re a good fit for you!