Sedation Dentistry Chapel Hill
fall in love with your smile
Sedation Dentistry for Anxiety and Comfort
Every year, millions of people avoid going to the dentist because they have a negative association or anxiety at the thought of having dental work performed. Whether this is due to a bad experience in childhood or a general aversion to pain, this all too common occurrence is one of the many reasons sedation dentistry can be so beneficial.
Sedation dentistry refers to any type of sedation that can be administered to a patient during a procedure. There are a range of sedation types and different levels of sedation. At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, we provide two types of sedation options for our patients: nitrous oxide (commonly referred to as laughing gas) and oral sedation.
Patients who meet any of the following criteria may be good candidates for sedation dentistry:
- Require extensive dental work
- Have sensitive teeth and/or a low pain threshold
- Patients with a sensitive gag reflex
- Patients who struggle sitting still for an extended period
There are a range of common dental procedures where sedation will be recommended, including periodontal surgery, implant placement, tooth extractions, or root canals.
Please note: sedation is not the same thing as anesthetic injections. There are certain types of sedation that will elevate a patient’s pain threshold, but a local anesthetic is commonly required for certain procedures that will also utilize sedation.
Sedation dentistry can be a wonderful option for patients who experience anxiety related to visiting the dentist, have a low pain threshold, or who are undergoing extensive procedures. If you would like to learn more about our sedation options, please read below, or contact our staff who will be happy to answer any of your questions and/or set up a consultation.
Levels of Sedation Dentistry Available at Our Practice
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, we offer two types of sedation: Nitrous Oxide and Oral sedation.
- Nitrous Oxide: The mildest form of sedation dentistry, nitrous oxide is administered through a mouthpiece and is most effective in reducing anxiety and putting the patient in a relaxed state.
- Oral Sedation: This type of sedation also reduces anxiety and will calm the patient; however this level of sedation’s effects will last much longer than nitrous oxide. As such, it is important to arrange for someone else to drive you home following a procedure that utilizes oral sedation. Because it does not require use of needles and is extremely effective in relaxing patients, oral sedation has become one of the most popular sedation treatment options.
Candidates for Sedation Dentistry
Children who are extremely anxious about visiting the dentist may benefit from sedation dentistry. Nearly all dentists can administer nitrous oxide, which has been proven to be safe to use with children. Certain dental clinics are also certified to administer oral sedation to children, but additional training is required as there are factors such as the child’s weight and age that must be factored in when determining the appropriate dose to administer.
Provided you do not have any preexisting health issues or known allergic reactions, sedation dentistry is generally a good fit for anyone. In addition to the palliative effects it has, sedation comes with the added benefit of reducing anxiety, which is typically heightened while visiting the dentist, especially for more involved procedures. It also helps with anxiety related to sitting still for a prolonged period, which many people find to be difficult.
In addition to the benefits sedation dentistry provides to patients, it is also helpful for dentists. In addition to the fact that sedation dentistry can diminish the pain and anxiety patients may experience during a procedure, dental sedation can also lessen the sensitivity of a patient’s gag reflex or gum sensitivity. When patients are more relaxed and experiencing less pain, your dentist can perform the procedure more effectively and more efficiently.
Sedation Dentistry is Safe
Although dental sedation is almost always safe, there are certain patients for whom there are increased risks involved. Patients who have sleep apnea or are overweight should discuss the risks of dental sedation with their dentist because they are at a slightly higher risk of having complications.
Our staff follows best practices to ensure your safety. As such, prior to administering sedation, we will ensure the following steps happen:
- Prior to the procedure, we will review your oral and medical history. In doing so, we will make sure we are up to date on any recent changes to your general health as well as update what medications you are currently taking.
- Based upon your age and general health, we will explain what sedative we feel is most appropriate and why.
- Once we have reviewed your case and provided our suggestion, we will invite you to ask any questions you might have concerning our qualifications and experience administering the suggested sedative.
- Once we are certain that you are comfortable with the sedation we have suggested, the procedure will be performed, during which we will monitor your vital signs and follow best practices to reduce any associated risks that could potentially occur
High-Quality Dental Care
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.