Few people like going to the dentist. Although there are a few people who find it a restful, meditative experience, for most of us, it’s a little stressful. And for many of us, it’s more than a little stressful. Some people find it so stressful that they just don’t go at all. But dental visits don’t have to be stressful–they can be peaceful and relaxing. We create a relaxing office environment, and for those who are unable to conquer their stress, we offer sedation dentistry, which can help you have a comfortable dental appointment.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry helps us give our patients a better experience at the dentist. With sedation dentistry we can help people:
- Overcome dental anxiety
- Get needed dental care and elective dental procedures
- Get numb more easily
- Avoid sore muscles at the dentist
- Control a strong gag reflex
- Consolidate dental visits for convenience
As an immediate treatment, sedation dentistry can help people overcome their dental anxiety and get preventive care, restorative care, and even cosmetic dentistry treatments. But over the long term it can have the even more important effect of helping to eliminate your dental anxiety. Many cases of dental anxiety are due to bad experiences at the dentist. Having positive experiences at the dentist can help you feel better and you won’t feel anxious.
Many bad experiences at the dentist are caused by anxiety. Difficulty getting numb is often caused by anxiety, which causes your body to metabolize anesthetic faster.
Sore muscles at the dentist or after an appointment are often because you are tense during your appointment. You may not even be aware of the tension until you leave the office and experience how sore your muscles are.
Similarly, dental anxiety often makes you hyperaware of objects in your mouth, causing you to gag more often.
Sedation dentistry can make large procedures more convenient. That’s because we can better consolidate your treatment into longer appointments since you’re able to sit for longer while under sedation.
For the right candidate, sedation dentistry is a great way to get your dental care.
Who Is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
The good news is that most people are candidates for sedation dentistry. In order to be a candidate for sedation dentistry, you should:
- Be able to benefit from sedation
- Not be allergic to medications
- Be in good health
- Not be taking medications that may interact with sedation
Sedation dentistry is only recommended and prescribed for people who have problems that may benefit from its use. It’s recommended that you try non-drug approaches to dental anxiety first. During your consultation, we will talk about your concerns and experiences to determine whether sedation dentistry is appropriate for you.
During your consultation, we will talk to you about any allergies to medications you may have as well as your experience with these or any similar medications in the past.
It is recommended that you have recently had a physical exam with your doctor. This will allow us to know whether you may have medical conditions that may cause problems with oral sedation. If we see reasons for concern, we may ask you to consult with your doctor before receiving sedation.
During your consultation, it’s important for you to tell us about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements.
Sedation Dentistry Options
At StarImage Dentistry, we offer three different forms of sedation dentistry. We offer oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, and IV sedation.
With oral conscious sedation, we prescribe you a pill for relaxation, such as Ativan or something similar depending on the length of your procedure. We may recommend that you take a pill before you come to our office or we may administer it once you arrive. Depending on the level of your anxiety, we may also prescribe you a second pill you can take the night before to help you sleep. You will need to have a responsible adult take you to and from the appointment and stay with you for several hours after the appointment.
For nitrous oxide, we will administer it when you arrive. You can drive yourself to the appointment and you can drive yourself home.
IV Sedation is administered by an anesthesiologist in the comfort of our office. It is customized to each individual patient’s needs. You will need to have a responsible adult take you to and from the appointment and stay with you after the appointment for the prescribed amount of time.
Drug-Free Relaxation Dentistry: NuCalm
NuCalm is an exciting new technology that allows you to have a stress-free dental visit without using any drugs or medication. Instead, NuCalm uses neuroscience to disarm your body’s anxiety response. You will enjoy a calm, peaceful, almost meditative experience for the duration of your dental visit. It’s 95% effective at reducing anxiety.
NuCalm has four basic components:
- Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA, a natural sleep hormone) supplements or skin cream
- Cranial electrotherapy stimulation–a microcurrent
- Neuroacoustic software–specially engineered sounds to put your brain in a relaxed state
- An eye mask to block out bright light
It only takes a few minutes to take effect, and when your procedure is finished, you’ll come back to awareness immediately. You can drive yourself to and from your dental appointment. Almost everyone is a good candidate for this alternative to sedation.
Which option is best for you depends on your level of anxiety and the type of procedure you are considering.