Sedation Dentistry: Easing Dental Anxiety and Fear

Child at dentist getting sedation

Dental anxiety and fear are common emotions experienced by up to 80% of adults in the U.S. These feelings can be so overwhelming that they prevent those with dentophobia from receiving necessary dental care, compromising their oral health. Sedation dentistry helps those with dental anxiety by ensuring a relaxed and worry-free dental visit.

Types of Sedation in Dentistry

Sedation dentistry involves using medication to keep patients calm during dental procedures. While it deeply relaxes you, you remain conscious and can respond to your dentist. However, you’ll likely not recall the procedure afterward.

Sedation dentistry is beneficial for individuals with severe dental anxiety, phobia, or past traumatic dental experiences. It’s also ideal for those requiring extensive dental work, people with a low pain threshold, difficulty sitting still, sensitive teeth, or an overactive gag reflex.

Types of sedation dentistry we offer at Valley Dental Care:

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation, or IV sedation, is administered directly into the bloodstream through the veins. This method allows the sedative to take effect rapidly, providing a deeper state of relaxation. Patients under IV sedation often have little to no memory of the procedure but are still able to respond to verbal cues from the dentist. You must arrange for a chaperone to drive you home after your appointment.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is inhaled via a mask put over the nose. It induces a highly relaxed state and helps to prevent anxiety and fear. The effects of nitrous oxide are mild and wear off quickly. This means that you can safely drive yourself home after treatment.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

For those with severe dental anxiety, sedation dentistry offers numerous benefits:
  • Anxiety reduction: Sedation creates a serene and relaxed state of mind, reducing or eliminating anxiety and the fear associated with dental procedures.
  • Pain control: Provides an effective solution for pain management during invasive procedures, enhancing your comfort.
  • Gag reflex control: If you have a sensitive gag reflex, you can undergo dental treatments more easily because sedation minimizes this reflex.
  • Efficiency: Dentists can work more efficiently when you are relaxed, often allowing for the completion of multiple treatments in a single appointment, reducing the number of dental visits you need.

Safety and Considerations

Sedation dentistry is typically safe, but patients should share their complete medical histories and current medications with their dentists. If you have health concerns such as heart disease, respiratory challenges, or diabetes, a doctor’s approval might be necessary before sedation.

Experience Dental Visits Without Anxiety

Fear of the dentist should never be a barrier to receiving essential dental care. With the advancements in sedation dentistry, patients can now experience treatments in a relaxed, comfortable manner, making oral health more accessible and less intimidating.

If dental anxiety has kept you or a loved one from maintaining optimal oral health, contact Valley Dental Care in Aurora at (630) 892-2193 or in Oswego at (630) 551-7000 to schedule your appointment and take the first step toward a healthy smile without fear.