Ease Your Dental Anxiety with Sedation Dentistry

A patient under sedation in a dental chairFor many patients, visiting the dentist can be an extremely stressful experience. To help ease anxiety and facilitate your comfort, Drs. Joe McIntyre and Dan Whiting provide sedation dentistry services at their Bridgewater, VA, practice. Trained in the most advanced techniques through the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, our doctors can ease physical discomfort and anxiety with controlled doses of medication. If you are interested in learning more about how sedation dentistry can improve your visit to our practice, please contact us today.

Obstacles to Optimal Oral Health

A visit to the dentist’s office can be difficult for many reasons. Some patients suffer from intense dental phobia, which can stem from anything ranging from bad experiences to a fear of needles. Dental phobic patients often cancel appointments or avoid the dentist altogether. Others struggle with medical or physical conditions: a low pain threshold, inability to sit still for long periods of time, or sensitive teeth can make even routine cleanings uncomfortable. Even patients who are comfortable with simple procedures can struggle when extensive dental work is needed.

By easing your anxiety, sedation dentistry can help ensure that you receive the dental care that you need.

Whether because of anxiety or physical interference, many patients avoid dental treatment. However, this can allow oral health issues to develop undeterred. Additionally, oral health conditions can often indicate more systemic issues, including diabetes, immune disorders, heart or lung disease, and even AIDS. Routine dental appointments are important for identifying the early signs of adverse health conditions.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

By easing your anxiety, sedation dentistry can help ensure that you receive the dental care that you need. Drs. McIntyre and Whiting can incorporate sedation techniques into any procedure, from mild cleanings to invasive treatments. Furthermore, with sedation dentistry, our doctors can accomplish more dental work during a single visit.

Types of Sedation Available

Your dentist may recommend one of several sedative options, ranging from mild to strong in intensity. In each case, sedation is paired with a local anesthetic to minimize patient discomfort. Depending on your needs, we may offer:

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Also known as laughing gas, this diluted gas mixture is the mildest form of sedation available. It is easily administered through a mask placed over the nose during treatment. Once it begins to take effect, you will feel relaxed but remain fully aware of your surroundings. Your dentist carefully monitors your dosage throughout the procedure. Once the mask is removed, the effects will wear off quickly. In fact, laughing gas is the only form of sedation that allows patients to drive afterward.

Oral-conscious Sedation

Consumed as a pill about an hour before the procedure, this method's effects range from mild to moderate, depending on the dosage. The minimum amount will leave patients feeling drowsy but awake. With a moderate dose, patients may fall into a deep state of relaxation, but will still be able to respond to questions.

Contact Us Today

Here at Smiles for Life, we strive to help patients feel welcome and relaxed in our office. To learn more about how sedation dentistry can ease your dental experience, reach out to us today.