I'm Terrified of the Dentist: Can Sedation Dentistry Put Me at Ease?

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It’s okay to worry a little bit about visiting the dentist. At Volterra Dental, we get it. You might have unpleasant memories from years ago, and we admit that some dental tools can be a bit intimidating. However, the payoff is clean, healthy, and bright teeth that benefit from your twice-a-year visits. 

Problems arise when fear and anxiety keep you from getting the dental care you need. This is the reality for people with dental anxiety and dentophobia. These are legitimate anxiety disorders, and when they’re severe enough to interrupt regular dentist visits, they put more than your dental health in jeopardy. 

That’s why we offer sedation dentistry services to our patients. We provide several sedation options to help keep our patients comfortable when necessary. Regardless of the sedation method you choose, these are all time-tested options to reduce the impact of the work done during your dental visit. 

Your sedation options

Sedation is a relaxation technique. You might hear the term “sleep dentistry” used interchangeably, but that’s not really accurate. It’s true, it’s easy to fall asleep when you’re relaxed with our sedation techniques, but these won’t put you under in the same way that general anesthesia does. You may feel as though you’re drifting in and out of consciousness and we’ll be able to wake you at any time.

At Volterra Dental, we typically use three forms of sedation with our patients. 

Oral sedation

Taking oral sedatives allows us to match the sedative dose to your needs. The level of sedation can range from mild to moderate. The most common oral sedative is triazolam, which takes about an hour to reach full effect, and several hours to wear off. You’ll need to arrange rides to and from our office, as you won’t be able to drive while under the effects of this medication. 

Inhaled sedation

Nitrous oxide is a flexible and versatile sedative that’s delivered via a mask over your nose. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide relaxes you and gives you an overall feeling of well-being. It’s also the fastest sedation method to wear off. If you must drive yourself to and from your appointment, nitrous oxide is the only sedation method that permits this. 

Intravenous sedation

Like nitrous oxide, intravenous (IV) sedation goes to work quickly and it’s easy to adjust your level of sedation through your treatment. Like oral sedation, it takes several hours for IV sedation to wear off. 

Note that sedation is for relaxing you ahead of the treatment. It doesn’t replace local anesthetics, the medications that block any pain caused by your dental work. The combination is ideal for those who are terrified by trips to the dentist. You’ll be relaxed, comfortable, and you’ll feel no pain. 

Learn more about sedation dentistry during a visit to our office. You can reach Volterra Dental by phone or online, so book your appointment now.