One of the top reasons that people avoid going to the dentist, even at the cost of their oral health; is fear. From just a minor fear that makes one nervous about a visit to the dentist to full-blown phobias that are crippling; there is a way to overcome this and Stone Ridge Dental is prepared.
Fear of The Dentist Is Not Rare
One out of six people suffers from some form of anxiety related to going to the dentist. There’s a reason it’s so prevalent—it’s a serious fear and is very real to those who deal with it. Even if it’s something as simple as a cleaning—it triggers the anxiety. The fear of the unknown is what it usually is. That something else might be wrong and they’ll get bad news. These people often suffer major consequences due to their avoidance of quality dental care. Usually, this fear is deep-rooted and comes with a list of anxiety-related issues:
- High levels of fear
- History of traumatic dental experiences
- Difficulty numbing
- Bad gag reflex
- Sensitive teeth
- Limited time to get the dental care they need
- Complex dental issues
- Phobia of needles and shots
- Fear of noises, tastes, and scents associated with dental clinics
- Afraid and insecure about their smile
When patients come to Stone Ridge Dental, we want them to have the best patient experience, free from anxiety and in a relaxing environment that is conducive to mitigating the effects of dental phobia. That is why we are firm believers in what is known as sedation dentistry.
You can choose Sedation Dentistry through either General Anesthesia or Conscious Sedation which includes IV sedative, laughing gas, or oral sedation. The goal is to put you into a state of deep relaxation so we can effectively perform the procedure. We will guide you through a brief assessment to gauge your level of fear and specific anxieties.
What is Sedation?
Sedation dentistry is an optional service we provide to make our patients feel relaxed, and calm via the use of sedatives such as valium, depressants, anti-anxiety medications, or nitrous oxide. This helps not only the patient relax, but also enables our dental professionals to do their job more effectively as well.
Sedatives are normally administered orally vs. intravenous so as not to create more stress with the use of needles and some patients’ fears. While a patient is indeed sedated, they are at a safe level of consciousness that ensures a smooth procedure. Many patients don’t remember their visit as if they were asleep, but in reality, the combination of sedative and then local anesthetic, create a feeling of total relaxation as if nothing happened.
The sedation also aids in administering local anesthetic which is still delivered via injection and can be troublesome for those with a fear of needles. The sedative numbs those fears and then the anesthetic temporarily blocks pain receptors in the affected area so it is a smooth transition.
We offer several types of sedation to appeal to a wide range of needs of each patient. We’re sure that no matter what fears you may have, we have a sedation option that makes you comfortable.
General anesthesia, also known as sleep dentistry, is the deepest sedation level we offer and it’s administered by intravenous methods. First, we mildly sedate patients without the IV and numb the injection area as mentioned.
With this method of sedation, you are not conscious and don’t feel a thing during the procedure. You also won’t have any recollection of it either. It makes for a very carefree, relaxing experience all in a convenient treatment option.
While sleeping, Dr. Monarres can perform all of the procedures you are scheduled for with ease. You’ll awaken with a healthier smile and it makes the procedures more efficient too. This is often recommended for children who are resistant to sit still or cooperate for the duration of their procedure.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is administered by pill that is both convenient and economical. When administered by Dr. Monarres, oral sedation like this proves to be more effective for certain procedures. Procedures that require patient cooperation and don’t have an element of invasive surgery work well with this method.
When you meet with Dr. Monarres for your free consultation, he will look over your medical records to determine if oral sedation is right for you. The time will pass much quicker with this method and you will be done before you even realize it’s begun.
Nitrous Conscious Sedation
Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas is one of the oldest, safest, and mildest forms of sedation in dentistry. It’s hypoallergenic and does not irritate or cause any loss of consciousness. It will make you very relaxed, maybe a bit drowsy. It also aids in reducing gag reflex and saliva flow.
Administering nitrous uses a small mask the hygienist will put over your nose. Gradually, the nitrous will be released through the mask as you breathe it in. You will begin to feel very relaxed, yet still conscious. Contrary to what you may see in movies, it does not make people laugh uncontrollably.
IV Conscious Sedation
IV Sedation is an ideal solution for those with dental anxiety but no aversion to needles or shots. It’s an anti-anxiety drug injected directly into your vein via an IV drip. It does not put you in an unconscious state, only deep relaxation and lack of recall of the procedure.
Safety While Administering Sedation
During all sedation dentistry appointments, we monitor your blood pressure and pulse throughout the procedure. Additionally, we make sure the oxidation of your blood stays within normal range with a pulse oximeter attached on your finger.
Regardless of the type of sedation we give you, it is very important to have a caregiver accompany you to your appointment as we cannot allow you to drive yourself home after sedation. The caregiver should be able to stay with you once home for about 3-4 hours to allow the sedative to fully run its course.
Benefits Of Sedation
One of the most favored benefits of sedation is patients feel like their procedure only lasted a few minutes, even though it may have taken hours. In complex procedures such as implants and full mouth reconstructions, sedation is especially helpful.
Sedation also makes it easier for people to go to the dentist which normally would shun the idea because of fears of the dentist or of needles used in administering anesthetic. It is a very common phobia and keeps many people from proper dental care and that can lead to more serious diseases.
Unlike medical surgery such as gallbladder removals, for example, not all sedation methods render patients unconscious as we still need to be able to have patients follow the directions for some procedures to work. Some of these methods provide just enough sedation to lessen or numb tension, stress, and fears.
There’s Nothing To Fear— Come In For A Visit
If you have avoided the dentist due to anxieties, phobias, or fears; we can take great care of you and make sure your dental health does not suffer at the hands of your fears. We understand how frightening a visit to the dentist can be when you have those anxieties, but it doesn’t have to be; not at Stone Ridge Dental— we understand you, and we will make it a stress-free experience. Contact us today to make your appointment.