Conquering Dental Fear with Sedation Dentistry

Portrait-of-the-beautiful-young-woman-sleeping-in-white-bed-000060444212_MediumDoes the thought of sitting in a dentist’s chair have you so terrified, you refuse to schedule even an annual dental cleaning? What if we told you that with sedation dentistry, your next dental appointment could be as relaxing as a nap?

Sedation dentistry is the process of using pharmacological agents to calm and relax a patient before and during their dental appointment.

Sedation dentistry is ideal for patients who have:

  • Stress, anxiety, or fear of dentistry
  • Limited time to complete several treatments
  • A sensitive gag reflex
  • Trouble numbing with local (injected) anesthetic
  • A condition that prevents you from resting comfortably

Between 5 and 8 percent of Americans avoid dentists out of fear, according to Dr. Peter Milgrom, director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“The problem with avoiding dental checkups because of fear is that by the time the patient does come in, a preventable problem may have become one that now requires more extensive treatment,” says Connecticut dentist Dr. Joseph Tartagni. “This not only compromises their oral health, it reinforces the anxiety that has kept them away for so long.”

At Shoreline Dental Care, we offer two types of sedation dentistry to promote a positive dental experience for our patients.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation- more commonly known as laughing gas, this sedative is painlessly administered through a breathing mask and promotes deep relaxation without the lingering side effects associated with other sedation methods.

Oral Sedation- this involves taking an anti-anxiety medication prior to your dentist appointment. Oral sedation allows you to remain alert enough to communicate with us during your appointment, but relaxed enough that you have little to no recollection of your procedure. This form of sedation can last for three hours, so patients need to arrange transportation home following their appointment.

“Sedation dentistry allows fearful patients to take control of their oral health by controlling their stress level and building a history of positive experiences,” says Dr. Colleen Lam.

If you are ready to take back control of your oral health, contact us and we will send you a free sedation dentistry report. We also encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists so we can discuss your concerns and share how we can help you experience the joy of a beautiful, healthy smile.