According to the numbers, dental anxiety (or dental fear) affects about 36% of the population, with another 12% suffering from extreme dental fear. That’s almost half of Americans who are uneasy about going to the dentist.
Beyond the numbers, though, these are real people with real fears. If you’re one of these people, you deserve a dentist who takes the time to address your fears, treats you with compassion, and offers options designed to alleviate your anxiety.
This is exactly what we do at Smile Design Manhattan. Our expert team uses sedation dentistry to ease your mind and your body as you undergo your dental cleaning or procedure.
Here’s how it works.
What is sedation dentistry?
Put simply, sedation dentistry uses medicine to help patients relax before and during a dental procedure. It allows people with dental phobias to get the dental care they desperately need.
Your dentist helps you determine if you’re a good candidate for sedation dentistry. They take into account your physical health and mental health, along with any other issues that may make sedation necessary. These issues may include:
- Low tolerance for pain
- Strong gag reflex
- Sensitive teeth
- Inability to sit still in the dentist’s chair
Sedation dentistry might also help if you need a large amount of dental work done that’s expected to take a while.
Types of sedation medicine
There are three general types of sedation that dentists use:
This is the lowest type of sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide (commonly known as “laughing gas”) through a mask placed over your nose. The gas helps your body relax, but you don’t fall asleep. The effects wear off quickly, and you can even drive yourself home after the procedure.
This is the most common type of anesthesia used for sedation, and it can range from a mild to a moderate effect. You usually take a pill about an hour before the procedure. It makes you feel drowsy and can even cause you to fall asleep, although you can be awakened fairly easily.
With oral sedation, you need to arrange for someone to take you home after your procedure.
Intravenous (IV) sedation
If you’re having a more serious or involved procedure, IV sedation may be a good option for you. The sedative is delivered straight into a vein, so it works more quickly to relax you. You should plan on getting a ride home after this type of sedation as well.
If you’re looking for a dental team that practices sedation dentistry, Smile Design Manhattan is happy to serve you. Just call our Midtown West office in New York City to set up your initial consultation, or use our online booking tool.