How Can Sedation Dentistry Help Me?

How Can Sedation Dentistry Help Me?

Does the thought of visiting the dentist make you feel overwhelmed? Like many people, you have dental anxiety or fear of the dentist. Often triggered by needles, drills, or just the concept of going to the dentist, dental anxiety can result in delaying or ultimately avoiding dental treatment. Once it is severe and results in irrational fear and complete avoidance of going to the dentist, it is referred to as a dental phobia. 

About 15% of Americans experience some form of dental anxiety. Whether you have run of the mill anxiety or extreme dental phobia, it's likely that you won't keep up with your dental appointments. Luckily, Denver Highlands dentist, Dr. O'Grady, offers sedation dentistry solutions to his most anxious patients. 

What is Sedation Dentistry?

If you suffer from dental anxiety, you probably won't be able to sit through a dental appointment without some sort of sleep dentistry. Although many dental procedures aren't painful, they can feel invasive. A person with anxiety may experience great distress before and during the procedure. However, our dental office in Denver, CO, is designed to put your mind at ease. We offer patients complimentary amenities to ensure that you truly enjoy your dental appointment at OG Dental. Some of these comfort amenities include soft blankets, warm neck wraps, Netflix, and more. With comfort and warmth in mind, combined with suitable sedation, you'll be able to work through your anxiety.

At OG Dental, we offer a wide range of sedation dentistry services. Since some patients have more or less anxiety than others, it's important to understand the different levels of sedation. If you're unsure about which sedation option you should choose for your dental procedure, our team will gladly help. Below are the different levels of sedation: 

  • Minimal sedation. The patient is in a relaxed, drug-induced state but is aware and responsive to verbal commands.
  • Moderate or conscious sedation. The patient is moderately conscious, can respond to verbal commands but usually doesn't recall details of the visit.
  • Deep sedation. The patient is on the verge of unconsciousness and cannot be easily woken up.
  • General anesthesia. This is the deepest level of sedation, and the patient is completely unconscious during the procedure. They cannot be woken up, even by painful stimulation, until the sedation wears off.

Types of Sedation

The different types of sedation used in sedation dentistry are:

Oral Sedation

This is the most common form of sedation used by our same day dentists in Denver Highlands. It can range from minimal to moderate sedation. For minimal sedation, you will take a pill about an hour before your procedure, and it will leave you drowsy but still fairly alert. For moderate sedation, you'll be given a larger dose, and although it can make you drowsy enough to fall asleep during the procedure, you can be woken up.

Nitrous Oxide

A small inhaler mask placed over your nose is used to deliver a dose of nitrous oxide or laughing gas combined with oxygen. Your Denver dentist can control the amount of gas based on the level of sedation they want to achieve, and it wears off quickly.

IV Moderate Sedation or Conscious Sedation

Your Denver, CO dentist will deliver anti-anxiety and sedation medication through a vein. This type of sedation kicks in more quickly than other types. Your dentist can easily adjust the level of sedation. Many patients choose IV sedation because they won't remember their visit once they're sedated. It's the preferred type of sedation for tooth extractions and installing dental implants. 

General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation

Your dentist will give you medication that will make you entirely unconscious, and you cannot be easily woken up until the anesthesia wears off. Dr. Ben Kacos, a sedation dentist in Shreveport, LA, adds that this form of sedation dentistry is just an effective but more affordable solution to dental anxiety. 

Determining the Most Suitable Type of Sedation for You

The type and level of sedation your Denver Highlands dentist recommend will depend on your level of anxiety and the type of procedure you'll be undergoing. For mild cases of anxiety coupled with relatively quick procedures like getting fillings or crowns, laughing gas is the preferred option. It usually kicks in as early as 30 seconds after you breathe it in, and once it has worn off, patients are allowed to drive themselves home.

More invasive procedures like root canals or teeth extractions can be very scary for even those with mild dental anxiety, and IV sedation is usually the preferred type of sedation. Oral sedation also works great for patients with high levels of anxiety. Although you may be awake, it relaxes you significantly, and you'll have little or no memory of the appointment afterward. You will need a ride home from the dentist since the medication takes a few hours to wear off.

Are you suffering from dental anxiety? Oral health is extremely crucial to our overall health, and keeping up with your routine check-ups is the best way to make sure your teeth are strong and healthy. Contact OG Dental in Denver, CO, for sedation dentistry.