Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?

Dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia are all ways of describing a fear of going to the dentist.

By some accounts, one out of every five people avoids going to the dentist because of this fear.

At Advanced Smile Arts, we don’t take this personally. Instead, our dentist, Dr. Mike Fuesting, has found a way to help patients who get nervous when they think about going to the dentist.

We are one of the few dentist offices in central Illinois that offer two types of sedation dentistry for our patients. If you would like to learn more about dental sedation, keep reading, call, or stop by our dentist office in Danville.

Who Benefits From Sedation Dentistry

People who are anxious may be experiencing a number of symptoms.

You may feel panicked or fearful (the “fight or flight” sensation). You may become sweaty, or you could feel cold.

You may hyperventilate or feel short of breath. Your heart can start racing, and you may have trouble staying calm or remaining still in the dentist’s chair.

This is not good for you, and it makes it harder for the dentist or hygienist who is trying to clean your teeth.

Through sedation, you can remain calm, comfortable, and relaxed throughout your cleaning or other dental procedure.

Sedation will alleviate your tension. It provides an anesthetic benefit, so you won’t feel any pain.

It also provides an amnesiac effect, so you may not remember anything about your dental care. Nevertheless, you will receive the same benefits of having a clean and healthy mouth.

Understanding Your Sedation Options

At Advanced Smile Arts, our patients have the choice of nitrous oxide sedation and oral conscious sedation.

We will try to explain the differences below to help you decide which type of sedation may work best for you.

  • Nitrous Oxide

People have been using nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) for more than 200 years. It’s been used in dentistry for more than 150 years.

Through research, medical and dental professionals have learned more about the effects of nitrous oxide and how to use that knowledge to help our patients.

Nitrous oxide takes effect and wears off quickly. All you have to do is breathe.

As you inhale nitrous oxide, it changes how you perceive what is happening around you. You may feel light-headed. You won’t be asleep, but you may feel like you are in a dream-like experience. You may remember bits and pieces of your treatment, or you may not remember any of it.

As long as you are breathing the nitrous oxide, you will remain in this dreamy state. Your muscles will remain relaxed. You won’t feel any pain, and you won’t have to worry about gagging if you have a sensitive gag reflex.

When your dentist or hygienist is finished, we just turn off the gas. You will breathe out the remaining nitrous oxide naturally, and within minutes, you will feel like yourself again.

Once you are ready, you can go back to work or get on with your other plans for the day.

  • Oral Conscious Sedation

For patients with higher levels of anxiety, we may recommend oral conscious sedation instead. This a stronger form of dental sedation.

Rather than inhaling a gas, you will take medication before your appointment. You will be feeling the effects well before your treatment begins.

You may feel drowsy, or you may fall asleep with this form of sedation dentistry. It’s more than likely that you will not recall anything about your treatment.

And as with nitrous oxide, you will remain calm, comfortable, and relaxed throughout your dental care.

The biggest difference is that the effects of oral conscious sedation can last for hours. This means that you must make arrangements for a family member or friend to take you home if you receive this form of sedation.

When you get home, you should rest until the effects of the medication wear off.

Make Dental Care Easier On Yourself

Our staff has completed the training to administer sedation dentistry to help our patients in Danville and throughout central Illinois. You now have a dentist close to home who can help you manage your anxiety to receive the dental care that you deserve.

In the short-term, we want to help make your dental visits easier to accept in spite of your anxiety or fear. In the long-term, we believe this may help you feel less anxious and less afraid of calling to make an appointment with us.

If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a visit, call Advanced Smile Arts at 217-442-0211 or fill out our online appointment form.

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