If even the thought of a trip to the dentist makes you feel somewhat anxious, don’t feel alone. Dental phobia, or fear of the dental chair, is reported to occur in up 75% of people to one degree or another. Although facing and banishing your fear would be a great accomplishment, Sedation Dentistry at Northern Hills Dental Clinic is a more realistic option that works by helping you manage your anxiety and allowing you to get the dental care you need.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation Dentistry uses sedatives to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state in patients. Sedatives range from mild to moderate in their effect and may be administered by our Calgary dentists in one of three ways:
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation
- Oral Sedation
- Nitrous Oxide Sedation (Laughing Gas)
IV Sedation: administered by our trained Calgary dentists is an effective and safe way to provide moderate sedative effects. IV sedation has some unique benefits: since IV sedation drugs are administered directly into the bloodstream, they take an immediate effect; as well, our dentists can tailor the dosage of IV delivered sedatives to the individual patient and can administer drugs to counteract the sedation drugs and thereby wake the patient at the appropriate time. In general, IV sedation tends to produce a deeper level of sedation than oral sedatives.
Oral Sedation Dentistry: is an often-requested method our Calgary dentists use to empower patients in the management of their fears. In this method, oral sedatives are taken in pill form. Oral sedation patients typically report feeling comfortable and remembering little of the treatment, as if they had slept through the treatment. Despite the experience of sleeping through the procedure, oral Sedation Dentistry patients actually maintain a level of consciousness which allows them to follow their dentist’s instructions during the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Also known as Laughing Gas, you simply breath nitrous oxide gas through a mask placed over your nose. The gas helps you to relax in the chair and has a sedative effect. Your dentist will control the amount of sedative gas that you receive and the gas wears of quickly after your appointment. In fact you should be able to drive yourself home after your treatment.
Are You a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation Dentistry may be the right option for you if you’ve experienced any of the following points:
- High Fear or Anxiety
- Have had traumatic dental experiences
- Have very sensitive teeth
- A strong gag reflex
- Extensive dental problems
- A tight schedule
- Difficulty in becoming numb
What Type of Sedation Dentistry is Best for Me?
It is important to disclose any past drug use or current medical conditions so that our Calgary dentists can select an appropriate Sedation Dentistry method for you. We suggest you bring a detailed list of your medical history, including any medications and supplements you are taking to the pre-treatment consultation.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Sedation Dentistry is considered very safe. To ensure the safety of Sedation Dentistry patients, dentists are required to use monitoring equipment during the procedure, including a pulse oximeter and oxygen equipment. Dentists are also required to have reversal medication agents on hand in the rare case of an adverse reaction to the sedatives.
Is Sleep Dentistry the Same as Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation Dentistry has sometimes been referred to as sleep dentistry, but the term can be misleading. In Sedation Dentistry, you are not actually asleep, though you may feel sleepy due to the effects of the sedatives. Also, the term sleep dentistry is sometimes connected to the use of general anesthesia. The use of general anesthesia, however, is not considered Sedation Dentistry.
Taking care of your teeth need not be a painful or stressful experience. If you have questions about our Sedation Dentistry services, we invite you to contact our office for a consultation.