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In this guide you will learn about: What causes dental anxiety, how to reduce your anxiety without sedation, plus different types of sedation and how they can they can help.
Are you afraid of going to the dentist? Do you have dental anxiety or dental phobia?
We have seen hundreds of people like yourself who are frightened, nervous, or just plain scared of dentistry.
Relaxation and sedation options are available at Northern Dental Care to help you receive the dental care you need while being comfortable and free from dental anxiety. Our Sault Ste Marie dentists have been trained in various types of dental sedation options.
Types Of Sedation
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide, or ‘laughing gas” can be added to just about any dental appointment on request, even cleanings! The gas is delivered through a soft nose piece and provides relaxing effects within the first few minutes. With nitrous oxide you are still completely conscious, just relaxed. Local anesthesia will also be used and given with The Wand® – a computerized anesthesia unit for additional comfort. Once your treatment is complete, the nitrous gas is turned off and the relaxing sedative wears off. You will be fully recovered at this point and can drive yourself to and from the appointment.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a deeper level of sedation compared to nitrous oxide. The medication is taken by mouth and makes you feel very sleepy. Although you will still be conscious, it will usually feel like you are dreaming or taking a light nap. Oral sedation lasts for several hours, and in most cases, all of your treatment can be completed in one visit. By the time sedative effects begin to wear off, your dentist will be finished restoring your smile.
Oral sedation is one of the safest options for sedation in the dental office. Nearly all healthy patients are candidates and it works for people all ages 11 and older (we have options for younger children as well). The medication has a wide margin of safety and is administered when you arrive at the office. Local anesthetic is still required to make sure you are comfortable – it is given after you are sedated and before treatment begins. As a result of the properties of the medication used, most patients report little to no memory of the visit. You will need a ride to and from the appointment and there are special precautions to follow before the visit.
Intravenous Sedation (Deep Sedation/Twilight Sedation)
IV Sedation can produce a deep level of sedation. It employs medications delivered intravenously to help the patient sink into a deeply relaxed state for as long as necessary to complete treatment. Many people do not choose IV sedation because they fear needles and the IV is a problem for them. Local anesthetic is still required to make sure you are comfortable – it is given after you are sedated and before treatment begins. You will need a ride to and from the appointment and there are special precautions to follow before the visit.
General anesthesia is very popular, especially for children because it allows routine or complex dental treatment to be performed in an unconscious state. This is the type of sedation you would have in a hospital operating room where you are completely unconscious throughout the treatment time. It begins with a gas that is inhaled through a mask and then a mediation is delivered through an IV line. The IV is placed after you are sedated with the inhaled gas, so it works well for all patients, including those with a phobia of needles. General anesthesia is the most common form of sedation used for complex treatments and children needing a lot of dentistry done in one visit.
General anesthesia requires specialized equipment and is administered by an anesthesia specialist who, along with the anesthesia team of Registered Nurses, will ensure a safe visit. You will need a ride to and from the appointment and there are special precautions to follow before the visit.
Benefits Of Sedation
Sedation for dentistry allows you to receive the dental care that you want without the fear and anxiety often associated with dental treatment. You can take comfort in knowing that absolutely nothing will be done until you are completely comfortable. It is also great for busy individuals who don’t have time to dedicate to multiple dental appointments.
The benefits include: