Feeling nervous about your next dental visit? You’re not alone. In fact, dental anxiety is quite common. Statistics show that as many as 30 to 40 million Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, this often leads to neglecting important dental care, which can have serious consequences for your oral health.
At the office of Jonathan S. Judd, DDS, PS, we prioritize the comfort of our patients. Our philosophy is, and always has been, that we treat the patient before we treat the tooth. For this reason, our focus on patient comfort is evident in all areas of our practice, from the warm and inviting reception area to the comfortable treatment rooms. Additionally, we offer dental sedation as an option for our patients who experience dental anxiety.
What is Dental Sedation?
Dental sedation is the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. There are different levels of dental sedation, from minimal to deep sedation. These methods are proven to be safe, and effective, and can help put patients at ease during their treatment. This not only helps patients get through their treatment but can also improve their perception of dental visits and the quality of care they receive. Dental sedation is not just for patients with dental anxiety—it can also be used for patients who have a sensitive gag reflex, need extensive dental work, or have extremely sensitive teeth.
Here at our Spokane, WA office, we offer two types of dental sedation: nitrous oxide and oral sedation.
Nitrous oxide is a type of breathable sedation that enters the bloodstream through the lungs. It is one of the most popular types of dental sedation because it is fast-acting, controllable, and presents no lingering side effects. Patients who choose nitrous oxide dental sedation will remain fully conscious and able to respond to questions and instructions during their treatment. This allows them to experience the appointment and build confidence in the dental chair without experiencing stress or fear.
The effects of nitrous oxide wear off within minutes after the gas is no longer being inhaled; this makes the option ideal for patients who plan on driving after their dental appointment and returning to work or school.
Oral sedation is a stronger form of sedation that is taken in pill form about an hour before the appointment. The oral sedative will cause patients to feel drowsy and relaxed, but they will still be conscious and able to respond throughout the appointment. Because oral sedation can cause patients to feel disoriented, it is important that they have someone else drive them to and from their appointment. The effects of oral sedation can last for several hours after the appointment, so patients should plan to rest until the following day.
This type of sedation is ideal for patients who experience moderate to severe dental anxiety, as well as those who need extensive dental work. We may also recommend oral sedation for patients who suffer from congestion or allergies that make it challenging to inhale nitrous oxide.