I’m Anxious About My Upcoming Dental Appointment

I’m Anxious About My Upcoming Dental Appointment

According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene, 50% to 80% of Americans feel some degree of dental anxiety when they think about going to the dentist.

So, if you’re feeling anxious about a trip to the dentist’s office, you’re not alone. Maybe you had a bad experience as a kid or as an adult, or you’re afraid it’ll be painful, or you just don’t like to have someone’s hands in your mouth. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s perfectly normal.

That’s why Smile Design Manhattan, in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City, offers sedation dentistry, so you can get the treatment you need without feeling anxious or nervous. Here’s how we can help ease your anxiety.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help you feel more relaxed when you visit the dentist. The goal isn’t to put you to sleep but to put your body in a more relaxed state so you’re not anxious as the dental team performs needed procedures on your mouth.

Sedation can also help if you have a low tolerance for pain, a sensitive gag reflex, or a concern that you’ll be in the dental chair for a long time due to an extensive procedure.

The best way to see if you’re a good candidate for sedation dentistry is to meet for a consultation before your scheduled procedure. At this time, your dentist assesses your physical and mental health and determines which type of sedation dentistry is best for you.

Types of sedation dentistry

We use three basic types of sedation at Smile Design Manhattan. The best one for you depends on your procedure and needs. Medication types include:


Nitrous oxide is an inhaled sedative that helps you relax during your dental appointment. It won’t put you to sleep, and it wears off quickly. You may know it better as laughing gas. 


Oral sedation comes in the form of a pill you take about an hour before your procedure. It has a mild to moderate effect depending on what your dentist decides is best for you. If it’s strong enough, you may need help getting home after your treatment.


IV sedation works well for more intensive procedures. It quickly sedates you and provides a stronger effect than inhaled or oral sedation. You likely need help going home after this as well.

When you’re ready to face your fears, we’re here for you. Just contact our office to schedule a consultation so we can give you the compassionate, excellent dental care you deserve.

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