Can You Help Me Feel Less Nervous at the Dentist?
The dentist’s office probably isn’t your favorite place to be, and we understand. Many patients feel anxious or afraid when faced with upcoming treatment. That’s why our team does everything we can to create an engaging, friendly experience for you. But if that isn’t enough to ease your nerves, calming sedation dentistry can be provided as well. These techniques are designed to encourage relaxation and create a smoother, safer treatment process overall. Interested in sedation dentistry? Please contact Brown & Nawrocki Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule your first appointment, or if you have any questions. Located in Ormond Beach, FL, our practice also serves the surrounding areas of Ormond-by-the-Sea, FL and beyond.
Do I Need Sedation Dentistry?
If any of the following sound familiar, to you sedation dentistry could be the right fit.
- Do you regularly struggle with scheduling dental appointments because of nervousness or outright fear?
- Do you have trouble sitting still and/or holding your mouth open for prolonged periods of time?
- Do you have trouble becoming numb with local anesthetic?
- Do you have an overly sensitive gag reflex?
- Are you in need of multiple, complex procedures that need to be completed in a single appointment?
What are the Types of Sedation Dentistry?
- Oral conscious sedation can create a deep state of relaxation for patients in need; in some cases, you may even experience partial or full amnesia in regards to the appointment itself. Our team will provide a prescription for an oral sedative, as well as instructions on when to take it. Patients will need an escort to bring them both to and from our office on the day of their procedure.
- Nitrous oxide (also commonly referred to as “laughing gas”) is a milder sedative that patients breathe in through a nasal mask. After a few minutes, you should begin to feel calmer and more content. The most valuable benefit of this technique is that its effects wear off just as quickly as they begin, meaning patients can return to their regular routines right away without any trouble.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation can create a deep state of relaxation for patients in need; in some cases, you may even experience partial or full amnesia in regards to the appointment itself. Our team will provide a prescription for an oral sedative, as well as instructions on when to take it. Patients will need an escort to bring them both to and from our office on the day of their procedure. Read on to learn more about oral conscious sedation and determine if it’s right for you.
What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?
You may be happy to learn that oral conscious sedation does not require any needles or face masks to receive. In fact, all you need to do is take a pill to feel incredibly relaxed and at ease throughout your entire appointment. This pill is usually Valium, Ativan, Halcion, or another similar sedative designed to calm nervousness, fear, anxiety, and other strong emotions that make dental visits impossible to complete. Keep in mind that the effects are long-lasting, which means you’ll need to be prepared to have a friend or family member drive you to and from our office.
How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?
The instructions may vary depending on the type of sedative you receive, which means you may be asked to take it prior to your appointment or immediately after you arrive. Once the effects do kick in, you’ll feel extremely relaxed and calm. While you’ll still be awake and able to follow basic instructions from our dentists, you will likely not be able to remember most of your appointment. Don’t worry, our team will be closely monitoring your vitals to ensure your safety.
Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?
Due to the amnesia-like effects of the sedative, oral conscious sedation may be a good option if you are easily triggered by stimuli typically found in dental offices (certain sounds, sights, and smells can cause anxiety or fear to worsen). Other common candidates for oral conscious sedation include those:
- With moderate to severe levels of dental anxiety or nervousness
- Who tend to cancel dental appointments the day before they occur due to fear
- With a sensitive gag reflex or low pain tolerance
- In need of multiple treatments to complete (or even one very long treatment, such as extensive tooth replacement)
- Who have difficulty keeping their mouth open for long periods of time
- Who have difficulty receiving traditional anesthesia
- Who have had poor dental experiences in the past
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide (also commonly referred to as “laughing gas”) is a milder sedative that patients breathe in through a nasal mask. After a few minutes, you should begin to feel calmer and more content. The most valuable benefit of this technique is that its effects wear off just as quickly as they begin, meaning patients can return to their regular routines right away without any trouble. To find out more about nitrous oxide, give us a call or click below!
Who is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide can be an ideal solution for adults who have difficulty completing dental treatments due to fear and anxiety, but it can also be quite helpful for children who struggle to complete dental appointments. It’s also perfect for those with any combination of the following:
- Difficulty sitting still or staying comfortable in the dental chair
- Fear of needles
- Dental sensitivity
- Sensitive gag reflex
- Sensitivity to dental stimuli (i.e. sights, sounds, smells commonly found in dental offices)
- Difficulty receiving numbing agents (i.e. local anesthetic)
It’s important to note that those who are pregnant, have sinus congestion, respiratory disease, or taking certain medications that can interfere with the sedatives should not receive nitrous oxide.
How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?
The only thing you need to do to prepare for your dental appointment is wear comfortable clothing. Nitrous oxide works almost immediately after you wear the mask and slowly begin breathing in the sedative. You’ll begin to feel warm, relaxed, and fully prepared to begin your dental checkup or treatment. You’ll still be awake from start-to-finish so you can receive commands from our dentist and inform us of your comfort levels. Because the sedative is so mild, you don’t have to worry about the effects lingering for more than 10 minutes or so after we remove the mask.
Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide
Before you leave our office, we’ll ask you to stay at the practice for a few minutes to ensure the sedative’s effects have completely dissipated. This is especially important if you plan to drive yourself to work, home, or wherever you intend to be. If we provide any treatment-specific aftercare instructions, you’ll want to make sure you pay close attention to them before leaving. For example, if you had dental crowns, bridges, or implants placed, we’ll confirm that you fully understand what your aftercare should look like before you head out.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
Reading through the above information is a great place to start if you’re interested in sedation dentistry in Ormond Beach. However, if you still have a few questions on your mind, that’s okay! If you’d like to speak directly with our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to do a bit more research online first, then keep reading!
Is sedation dentistry safe?
Sedation dentistry has been extensively researched and is considered safe when administered by a qualified professional. To ensure this calming treatment option is right for you, our sedation dentist in Ormond Beach will review your medical history, current medications, and other factors that will influence your candidacy. Plus, your blood pressure, oxygen levels, and heart rate will be monitored at all times during your procedure to ensure your safety.
Will I remember anything with dental sedation?
Possibly! Although you’re awake with oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide, many patients feel so calm that they end up drifting off to sleep. While you can be easily awakened, you definitely won’t remember those parts of your treatment. Plus, sedation dentistry offers slight anterograde amnesia, which will make your memories a little fuzzy. The good news is that this helps alleviate dental anxiety at future appointments, making each experience better and better.
What does it feel like to be sedated at the dentist?
The answer to this question depends largely on the type of sedation dentistry you’re receiving. For example, nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) often makes patients feel relaxed, euphoric, and light. On the other hand, oral conscious sedation results in a deeper sense of calm, causing patients to feel “heavy” and sleepy. Both options will keep your anxiety at bay, allowing you to fully relax throughout your time in the treatment chair.
Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?
In cases where sedation dentistry is “medically necessary,” like for patients who have a disability or those who are undergoing exceptionally complex treatment, then your dental insurance provider will likely partially or fully cover the cost. However, for routine treatments (including root canals) and patients who struggle with mild to moderate dental-related anxiety, it’s often considered a “luxury” service. If you’re interested in sedation dentistry but aren’t familiar with the fine print on your dental plan, don’t hesitate to let our team know! We would be happy to walk you through the ins and outs of your coverage.
Is sedation dentistry worth it?
If you have been putting off much-needed dental care or need extensive dental work done, then sedation dentistry is absolutely worth it. At your initial consultation, we can review all of the benefits, discuss any concerns you have, and walk you through what to expect. Plus, we will review all of the financial options, including flexible financing and special offers, to ensure the cost fits into your budget as well.