Difficulty with dental appointments is not only a real concern, but a common one. If you suffer from fear of the dentist, excessive muscle tension, an unusually strong gag reflex, general anxiety, or any other affliction that makes the dentist difficult for you, then you should know that you are absolutely not alone.
Because these problems are so very common, our Billings, MT, dentist provides several options for sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
It is exactly what it sounds like: dentistry performed while you are comfortably sedated. This practice does not replace traditional anesthetics or techniques. We simply add one more step to the process, in order to help you emotionally and physically handle your dental visit.
Sedation relaxes the muscles and calms the nerves. Many forms even act as an anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety measure.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are several different methods of sedation available to you through our office:
IV Sedation — IV stands for intravenous. We deliver the medication directly into your bloodstream. This makes the IV method by far the fastest and strongest available way to administer your sedative. Our office brings in a certified anesthesiologist for this purpose.
Unfortunately, the lead drawback to the IV method is the needle. Needles are difficult for many people, and can sometimes cause as much anxiety as the dental chair itself. If this applies to you, we have several other options that you can take advantage of.
Oral Sedation — Oral sedation does everything an IV administration would. Because it is not direct, however, this form of sedation takes longer and requires a stronger dosage. Digestion takes some of the medication with it, instead of delivering it all into the blood.
The benefits of oral sedation? Absolutely no needles. Oral sedation also leaves you entirely conscious, although in a much more relaxed state. You will be able to interact with the dentist and keep track of exactly what is going on.
Laughing Gas — Laughing gas is a great dental sedative. In fact, it is so safe and effective that it has been used in dental procedures since the late 1800s.
It is fast-acting, with no need for needles, and wears off just as quickly. When laughing gas is used, it doesn’t metabolize in the system at all. After only a few minutes, you can safely and legally drive yourself home from your own dental procedure.
Ask Us About Sedation
No one deserves to suffer in fear or pain because of dental anxiety. If you have been scared of the dentist for any reason at all, give us a call right away. We will do everything we can to make your appointment comfortable and safe so that your teeth get the care they need.