Studies estimate that roughly 3 out of 10 Americans avoid having dental work completed out of fear. These individuals would rather risk infection and deal with pain than deal with the anxiety brought on by a dental procedure. When these people finally do go to the dentist, it’s often too late to save the teeth that were causing the issue.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to relax those individuals prior to their procedure to allow them to have a less stressful experience at the dentist’s office. This allows patients who may normally avoid dental care receive the treatment they need. This is why, sedation dentistry is often known as “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry. Thousands of dentists offer their patients some form of sedation dentistry, including Dr. Mark Sowell of Sensational Smiles in Plano, TX.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?
If you have found that you resist scheduling needed dental care due to feelings of anxiety, sedation dentistry might be an option to help you receive the treatment you need. Dental anxiety is usually attributed to:
- Negative past experiences
- Fear of pain or gagging/choking
- Extreme discomfort with the sounds and smells of dental office
- Discomfort about feeling numb
- Fear of losing control
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
- Are unable to sit still in a dentist chair
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
- Have a low threshold for pain
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide, is frequently known as “laughing gas” although this name is misleading as the gas does not cause fits of uncontrollable laughter when administered safely. Nitrous Oxide, an effective sedative, is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask that fits snugly over the patient’s nose. You will still be aware enough to answer questions from your dentist and provide access to different areas of your mouth as needed. The effects of this nitrous oxide wear off very soon after the mask is removed so you should be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Oral sedation is a medication, usually in pill or liquid form, that relaxes you and reduces your sense of pain but you will still be aware of your surroundings and can carry on a conversation with Dr. Sowell and the dental team. However, you will not feel anxious about what is going on around you and may even feel drowsy and might feel like taking a nap during the procedure. After having a procedure with oral sedation, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home.
IV sedation is administered intravenously (hence the name) and therefore begins working very quickly. IV sedation allows Dr. Sowell to adjust the level of sedation, allowing his patients to be either almost or completely unconscious or mostly awake during their procedure depending on the level of their comfort. Not all dentists offer IV sedation, so contact your dentist prior to the procedure to check. Dr. Sowell does offer this option to his patients.
Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Sowell
We strive to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable at Sensational Smiles in Plano, TX. Sensational Smiles has patients relax in massage chairs while watching television or listening to music while waiting for their oral sedation to take effect. This relaxing atmosphere combined with our friendly staff, have helped hundreds of patients feel calm and comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Not all insurance providers will cover all forms of sedation dentistry so check with your insurance provider before scheduling any procedure requiring sedation. Contact our office online for a free consultation or call us at (972) 382-6855 for more details and to schedule your appointment.