All About Sedation Dentistry

It’s human nature to try to avoid the things in life that cause us discomfort. It’s this very trait that allows us to keep our distance from dangerous situations and helps us to stay alive. Sometimes, our discomforts can keep us from experiencing new things or getting the care we need to maintain our health and wellbeing. 

Do you fill with anxious jitters when thinking about your upcoming dental appointment? Does the thought of a procedure overwhelm you enough to keep you from making that appointment? 

Dental anxiety is one of the most common health experience fears, with an estimated three out of four US adults experiencing some level of fear surrounding the dentist. It is so common that it is often dramatically portrayed on tv, which only helps to perpetuate the fear and can lead to skipped visits, poor oral health, and harmful cycles of avoidance. If going to the dentist gives you anxiety, you’re not alone, and you’re friends at Smile Studio Family Dentistry & Orthodontics are here to help.

Missing out on regular dental visits means you are missing out on deep cleanings and inspections that can catch minor issues before they become painful problems. These visits are crucial in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Instead of attending regular visits, patients often avoid the dentist’s care until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which only reinforces their dental anxieties. 

It is a vicious and unnecessary cycle with the advancements in dental techniques and treatments. Here at Smile Studio Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, we’re excited to offer an array of excellent solutions to this anxiety. Keep reading to see how these treatment options can alleviate your fears and even leave you feeling like you’ve just left the spa, not the dentist, despite your worries walking in for your appointment.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a great way to help a patient relax during a dental procedure. While it is not a method to control your pain and discomfort, the medication used for sedation dentistry will help you relax during your dental procedure. This relaxation makes the visit less stressful, allowing nervous patients to cope during treatment better. It can also help you forget many details of the procedure so that you can be less fearful or anxious before your next appointment. 

Sedation dentistry can also be helpful if you need several procedures done during one visit and to help prevent spontaneous movements during your procedure, leading to a safer experience overall.

What are are the different types of sedation methods?

At Smile Studio Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, we offer various sedation options, each with its own benefits. Depending on your comfort level, medical history, and the procedure or treatment you need, our knowledgeable team will help you decide which particular method will best benefit you. Let’s go over the types of sedation methods that might benefit your anxiety and dental treatments.

Oral Sedation

This sedation method is quite common as it uses oral medication to help you stay calm throughout your procedure. Depending on which and how much oral sedative you take, you will feel a sense of calm, slight drowsiness, minor amnesia, and possibly some tingling. However, you will still be conscious and able to communicate with our staff during your dental procedure.

You will need someone to drive you home from your appointment and keep an eye on you following the use of an oral sedative since some effects of the medication can linger throughout the day.

IV Sedation

“Conscious sedation” is a common term used to describe Intravenous (IV) sedation that is administered directly into your arm or hand and allows patients to breathe on their own. At the same time, their vitals are monitored throughout the procedure. This method will enable you to be still responsive to your dentist’s prompts and is more predictable than oral sedation. 

During IV sedation, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) administers and monitors your intravenous anesthesia during the procedure, allowing our dental team to focus on your treatment while you feel deeply relaxed. Like with oral sedation, you will also need someone to drive you home and help you because this medication can also linger for the rest of the day.

Inhalation Sedation

Inhalation sedation is a light form of sedation that uses a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen breathed through a nosepiece. During inhalation sedation, you will likely feel relaxed, slightly drowsy, warm, and tingly but you will remain awake and conscious throughout your procedure and will be able to talk to your dental team. This method of sedation only takes a couple of minutes to become effective and wears off just as quickly. Still, it will be best to have someone drive you home and help you out for the rest of the day as you may feel a little foggy and slow to respond. 

NuCalm Treatment

An up-an-coming option, Nucalm is the first effective relaxation dentistry technique capable of producing a consistent relaxation effect without drugs, impairment, or intoxication of any kind. NuCalm is administered through headphones that play music containing rhythmic signals that differ from ear to ear, or binaural beats, to help change your brain waves from the rapid speeds of an anxious brain to the slower speeds at the edge of sleep. This treatment mimics your body’s process for winding down and preparing for sleep, neutralizing the stress response in the center of the brain and guiding you to a state of deep relaxation without pills, gases, or needles of any kind. 

As much as 95% of patients would use NuCalm again after choosing this sedation alternative. Some of the subjective effects that patients have reported after using NuCalm are:

  • Deeply relaxed within minutes
  • Unaware of time and space thoroughly distracted from the procedure
  • Physically incapable of experiencing anxious behaviors
  • Responsive and cooperative with no cognitive impairment
  • Refreshed and alert post-treatment with no recovery time from NuCalm itself
  • Able to drive and return to normal activities immediately
All About Sedation Dentistry

Whatever your comfort level, you can trust Smile Studio Family Dentistry & Orthodontics has you covered

Your oral health is a significant component of your overall health. Don’t let your anxieties and fear of the dentist or dental procedures keep you from reaching out for the treatment and care you need to live your best life. 

When you visit our Zachary office, our team will do everything possible to make your experience comfortable physically and emotionally. You’ll stay informed about the entire process in a friendly and compassionate manner so that you can make the best decisions for your health with little to no anxiety. Schedule an appointment with our caring team to determine if you’re a good candidate for sedation dentistry.