Do you have an intense fear of the dentist? If so, you’re not alone. Up to 20% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety. Typically, a painful or traumatic dental experience is to blame for a debilitating fear of the dentist. For this reason, patients with nervousness associated with the dentist’s chair may avoid going to the dentist altogether. This is problematic, as neglecting regular dental cleanings and checkups can lead to more serious oral health issues.

If you’ve been avoiding the dentist, then it might be time to consider visiting a sedation dentist. Read on to discover the benefits of sedation dentistry.

When is Sedation Necessary?

The choice to receive dental sedation is entirely up to you. But we recommend sedation for patients who might:

  • Have a fear of needles
  • Have high anxiety
  • Have a low pain tolerance
  • Have trouble sitting still
  • Have a lengthy treatment
  • Have a bad gag reflex

If you think you or your child will benefit from dental sedation, then don’t hesitate to let our caring team know. Ultimately, it is our job to create a comfortable and positive environment for you to receive first-rate dental care.

Types of Dental Sedation

At Rio Rancho Smiles, we offer two methods of dental sedation before treatment:

1.   Oral Conscious Sedation

For patients with mild to moderate anxiety, oral sedatives are the perfect solution. Although oral sedation doesn’t eliminate pain, it does promote relaxation. Our dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Together, the sedative drug and local anesthesia dull the sensations of the procedure. At most, a patient might feel some slight tugging or pressure.

If you desire oral conscious sedation, let us know. We will give you a prescription for the sedative, which you will pick up at a pharmacy of your choosing. Once you have your prescription, carefully follow the dentist’s instructions on when the sedative should be taken. For most patients, the sedative will be taken 30 to 60 minutes prior to the procedure. and help the patient fall asleep.

After dental treatment, the dentist will gently shake the patient, so that they can awaken. The effects of the sedative wear off slowly. For this reason, it is imperative to have a friend or family member drive you home after your appointment.

2. Nitrous Oxide

Since the 18th century, Nitrous oxide gas has been used as a sedative. Commonly known as laughing gas, it unsurprisingly gets its nickname because it makes patients feel happy, relaxed, and giggly.

Laughing gas is ideal for:

  • Patients with severe dental anxiety
  • Patients who are undergoing invasive procedures
  • Children who have trouble sitting still during dental visits.

A dentist will administer it just before your procedure by placing a mask over your nose. The gas will flow from the mask continually until the dentist is completely finished with the procedure.

Once the procedure is complete, the dentist will replace the nitrous oxide gas with pure oxygen, which flushes it from your system. Once the effects have fully worn off, you’ll be able to drive yourself home.

Speak with a Sedation Dentist in Rio Rancho, NM

Looking for gentle, quality sedation dentistry? At Rio Rancho Smiles, our dentists are committed to providing exceptional care in a calming and comfortable atmosphere. In addition to offering dental sedation, we also provide neck pillows, aromatherapy, warm towels, and lip balm. Let us give you the dental experience you deserve. Contact us online or call (505) 994-9693 to schedule an appointment today.