How long has it been since you last went to the dentist?
A few years? More than five years? More than 10 years?
If it’s been a while, then you may have dental anxiety. This is actually a common fear across Alabama and across the United States.
WebMD reported that up to 20 percent of the population (1 in 5 people) avoids the dentist because of this fear.
If you are part of this 20 percent, Alabama Family Dental wants to invite you to come back to the dentist’s office. We serve patients in and around Mobile, AL, including patients who have struggled with dental anxiety.
We may be able to help you, too, with our sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
We will answer that question with an analogy.
Did you ever take a long car trip when you were a child? Maybe you went on a family vacation or maybe you were going to visit a relative who lived in another part of the country.
We suspect that more than once you fell asleep during a ride. When you arrived at your destination, your parents had to wake you up. You didn’t remember much of the journey, but you still got where you needed to go.
Sedation dentistry is similar. When you are under sedation, you may not remember a single thing about your treatment. However, you will still benefit from the professional dental care you have received from a dentist or dental hygienist.
Some people have referred to sedation dentistry as sleep dentistry. While you may feel like you are asleep, you will still be able to respond to requests from the dentist or hygienist (such as “turn your head”) even if you don’t recall anything about your procedure.
How Can Dental Sedation Help You?
Sedation dentistry has many advantages for patients, regardless of the reason for their dental anxiety.
If you suffer from dental fear, it can leave you feeling tense when you just think about dental care. If you are in a dentist’s office, this may cause you to have a “fight or flight” sensation. You can trust us when we don’t want you to respond in either of those ways.
With sedation, you will remain calm and relaxed throughout your appointment.
If you are worried that your treatment will be painful, that won’t be a concern with dental sedation. Both kinds of sedation that we offer providing analgesic or pain-relieving effects.
If you have a sensitive gag reflex, this too can cause you to feel anxious at the dentist’s office. After all, dental work requires people to put various tools in your mouth.
When you are under sedation, you are much less responsive to those things, which makes you much less likely to gag. (That is something everyone involved in your dental care can appreciate.)
What Kinds Of Dental Sedation Do We Offer?
We offer two forms of sedation dentistry in our office. They are nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.
Nitrous oxide sedation is considered the milder of the two. It’s a great option for people with mild dental anxiety.
Nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) is a gas that you breathe in through your nose. It only takes a few minutes of inhaling it before you start to feel its effects.
The gas brings you to a happier state, and it takes away any anxiety that you may be feeling. You are able to remain relaxed as long as you are breathing it. We will leave the gas on until you treatment is over.
At the end of your procedure, we simply turn off the gas. You then breathe out the remaining nitrous oxide, and within a few minutes, you will be feeling like yourself.
Oral conscious sedation is a stronger option, but it is equally safe and effective. You simply take a pill about an hour before your treatment begins.
By the time we start, you will be in a state of deep sedation. We can do what you need done, and you won’t feel any apprehension at all.
Unlike nitrous oxide, however, the effects of oral conscious sedation can last for a few hours. For this reason, it is necessary to have a family member or friend who can take you home when we are finished.
Before you make an appointment for a treatment, schedule a consultation at our Mobile, AL, dentist office to discuss our dental sedation options. We can explain the benefits of each and help you decide which kind of sedation might be right for you.