Studies show that somewhere between 9% to 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear. They would rather endure painful, infected, discolored, and damaged teeth than set foot in a dental office. Or, if they do come in, it’s the worst part of their week. Fortunately, good dentists like Dr. Donald Reid of Truckee CA don’t take it personally. Instead they look for the most effective means of reducing their patients’ anxiety so that they get the care they need.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to allow for a more relaxing, less stressful experience for those patients who might otherwise not receive dental care because of dental phobia. Sedation dentistry, sometimes referred to as “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry, is now offered by thousands of dentists, including Dr. Reid.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?
Sedation dentistry might be right for you if you find that you avoid dental examinations due to anxiety. Most often, that anxiety can be traced back to:
- Negative experiences in the past
- Fear of pain or gagging/choking
- Anxiety from the sounds and smells of a working dental office
- Feeling of uncomfortable numbness
- Fear of feeling out of control
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
- Have difficulty sitting still in a dentist’s chair
- Require a large amount of dental work be completed in one sitting
- Have a low pain threshold
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is an effective sedative that is mixed with oxygen and breathed in through a mask that fits over your nose. It does not put you to sleep. You will still be coherent and able to carry on a conversation with the dentist, but it will help you feel more calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed, allowing you to drive yourself home after the procedure. Nitrous Oxide is even safe to be administered to children.
Oral sedation relaxes you and reduces your ability to feel pain. You will be aware of your surroundings and be able to carry on a conversation, but you’ll be less responsive to what is happening. You may also feel drowsy and might feel like taking a nap during the procedure.
The pill that is used most often for oral sedation is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium. Halcion is usually taken about an hour before the procedure to give it time to take effect. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home if you have taken oral sedation.
Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Reid
Dr. Reid strives to make sure all of his patients feel comfortable. The relaxing atmosphere of our Truckee CA office, styled to feel more like a spa than a doctor’s office, combined with our professional and friendly staff, have helped hundreds of patients feel more comfortable at the dentist. If you would like to know more about our sedation dentistry or any of the other services Dr. Reid offers, please schedule a consultation online or call us at (530) 206-0392 to schedule your appointment.