Overcome Dental Phobia with Sedation Dentistry

Portrait of man with dental fear exploring sedation dentistry options

Peaceful Visits with Sedation Dentistry

You may dislike dental visits for any number of reasons. Perhaps you have a fear of the dentist, due to negative experiences or not feeling in total control during procedures. Maybe a physical condition will not allow you to get comfortable in the dental chair, or holding your mouth open for a long time causes jaw pain. Some people don’t like to go to the dentist because of a sensitive gag reflex, sensitive teeth, embarrassment over bad breath or tooth decay, or a fear of needles. Children sometimes cannot sit still for the time required to perform a dental procedure. Whatever your concern, sedation dentistry presents a practical, proven means of feeling peaceful, comfortable, and unstressed during dental visits and treatments.

At Bowmanville Dental, we understand and respect the reality of dental phobia, dental fear, and dental anxiety. If you’re uncomfortable mentally or physically with the dentist’s office or dental procedures, we want to share three sedation dentistry options, or dental anesthesia options that we offer, to help you overcome your stress during visit’s. Your comfort has always been priority in our inviting Bowmanville Ontario dental office, where you’ll be well cared for by our team of kind, compassionate professionals.

Laughing Gas (nitrous oxide)

Discovered in 1772, nitrous oxide was first used by a dentist on himself in 1829. Dr. Humphrey Davey described his experience as “uneasiness…swallowed up in pleasure.” In short, nitrous oxide makes a patient feel somewhat euphoric, so that pain and stress are not possible while under its effects. Many people like nitrous oxide because it starts working upon the first few inhalations, and the effects cease when we stop administering it. After dental treatment with nitrous oxide, you can drive yourself to work or home and continue with your day, without worry of any lingering effects. Nitrous oxide is well suited for people who have mild to moderate dental fear or anxiety, or those who feel physically uncomfortable in the dental chair.

Oral Sedation (anxiolysis)

A bit stronger than nitrous oxide, oral sedation involves the ingestion of a sedative, like halcyon or valium, prior to a dental procedure. The sedative creates a state of relaxation in which the patient is awake, yet he is groggy and does not register much of what’s occurring around him. However, after the procedure is complete, the patient cannot drive. He needs a friend or relative to transport him home, settle him in, and he should not return to work or play the remainder of the day. Oral sedation is ideal for people who have moderate and higher levels of dental anxiety, mental issues, or physical discomfort in the dental chair. Nitrous oxide may be administered with oral sedation to enhance its effects.

Sleep Dentistry (general anesthesia)

There are two levels of general anesthesia. Intravenous administration of anesthesia can be either “twilight,” inducing a deep state of relaxation in which the patient is physically awake and can respond to the dentist, but feels so groggy and distant that he remembers little, if anything, about his procedure. Sleep dentistry may also be complete general anesthesia, commonly known as “putting someone to sleep.” IV sedation is administered by a medical anesthesiologist and a registered nurse. Patients who undergo sleep dentistry will need a ride from their appointment to their home. The patient will need to stay home the remainder of the day.

Schedule your appointment in our Bowmanville Ontario dental office today and learn more about sedation dentistry. We will talk with you about your concerns, educate you on which type(s) of sedation may be best for you, and help you decide how to proceed. Our goal is to help you overcome any anxiety or stress so that you will get the dental care you need and enjoy a lifetime of healthy, vibrant smiles.