Does the thought of going to the dentist skyrocket your heart rate? Do you have trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam? Does walking into a dentist’s office make you feel physically ill? Dental phobia and anxiety can stem from several factors, including:
- Fear of pain
- Fear of needles
- Feelings of helplessness
- Loss of personal space
- A bad past dental experience
If you struggle with dental anxiety or dental phobia for any reason, sedation dentistry could make dental visits relaxing, stress-free, and possible so you can achieve a healthy, radiant smile.
At the Salt Lake City dental office of Dr. Rod Gleave, we offer three types of dental sedation: inhaled sedation, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Additionally, we prioritize patient comfort to give our patients the best dental experience possible.
Continue reading to learn more about the different types of sedation dentistry and how we’ve created a comfortable dental experience for our patients.
Inhaled sedation is best for mild to moderate cases of dental anxiety and for patients with an extreme gag reflex. It is also referred to as nitrous oxide or laughing gas and is the most common form of sedation dentistry.
Inhaled sedation is the lightest form of sedation dentistry so patients can drive themselves home after their appointment. Children can even use nitrous oxide when necessary. As soon as the gas is turned off, the effects go away.
To administer the laughing gas, the dentist places a small inhaler over the patient’s nose. As he breathes in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide, his body and mind relax, but he is still able to respond to the dentist.
Oral dental sedation works well for patients with more severe dental anxiety. Before deciding on the type of sedation a patient needs, the dentist will ask questions about the symptoms of their fear and anxiety, medical history, and types of medication they take. He will also consider the dental procedure and length of appointment.
If oral conscious sedation is the right option, the dentist will prescribe a pill that the patient will take either the night before or the morning of the dental appointment. This pill is stronger than nitrous oxide so even though the patient will be awake, he most likely won’t remember the procedure. Once the effects of the pill kick in, patients feel like they are in a sleep state.
The dentist will provide specific, written instructions for before and after the dental appointment. Most importantly, a friend or family member must drive the patient to and from the appointment and stay with them until they have completely recovered. Recovery typically takes between four and ten hours.
For severe levels of anxiety and long, invasive treatments, IV sedation is the best option. The dentist administers anti-anxiety and anesthesia medications directly into the bloodstream. The patient is closely monitored for safety and comfort. Within seconds of administering the medications, the patient is in a sleep state but still conscious.
As with oral sedation, patients will need someone to drive them to and from the appointments and stay with them for 24 hours after the appointment.
Comfortable Dental Care
Along with offering sedation dentistry, Dr. Gleave provides comfortable dental care in a relaxing setting. Our professional and compassionate dental team creates a soothing atmosphere by treating our patients like family, offering snacks and drinks, and providing TVs, headphones, and blankets in the operatories.
To schedule an initial consultation with our friendly dentist, call (801) 923-6406 today.