How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Sedation dentistry is a common treatment aid that helps anxious patients feel less nervous in the dental chair. Many people experience dental fear and this prevents them from seeking out treatment, which can have a significant adverse effect on their health.
Sedatives used in dentistry produce a calming feeling by blocking receptors in your brain that communicate feelings of pain or anxiety. A form of sedation, nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”, was first used over 100 years ago to help facilitate pain-free and comfortable dental care, but didn’t come into common practice until about 20 years later. Even so, dental sedation has been around for decades and is widely considered a safe and effective way to make dental care accessible to nervous and anxious patients.
Our Cherry Hill, NJ dental office offers patients nitrous oxide, anxiolysis, and IV conscious sedation to help soothe discomfort and get the care you need to have healthy teeth. If you’ve heard about sedation methods before, but are curious about how they work, we offer some clarification on the subject:
IV Conscious Sedation - This is the use of certain medications to help produce a relaxed feeling. These medications are administered intravenously and are used to alleviate anxiety and stress. The anti-anxiety medications we use (Midazloam and Fentanyl) help to create a relaxed state where, at most, you are moderately sedated so we can provide comprehensive, quality dentistry in an efficient and safe manner. Most of the time, you may not remember much (if any) of the procedure; this allows you to remain comfortable throughout the duration of your appointment.
Anxiolysis - Anxiolysis is another sedation option for patients who are anxious. A minimal amount of oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a certain level of relaxation. Often, this is done in conjunction with nitrous oxide. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. Typically, the patient is aware of and remembers what is going on during the procedure, but is comfortable to proceed with the treatment without.
Nitrous Oxide – This is a gas that is inhaled and produces a similar effect as the anti-anxiety medication used in the anxiolysis sedation method. Laughing gas elevates mood, lessens anxiety, and is given at a controlled rate throughout your treatment with the help of special equipment and a small hood that is placed on top of your nose and mouth. Nitrous doesn’t stay in your body as long as oral medications might, so the sedative effect wears off more quickly.
Our dental office is home to a specialist who is licensed to administer sedation dentistry to help make your dental appointments a breeze. If you have questions about getting sedation dental care in Cherry Hill, NJ, please feel free to contact our office at 856-857-0400 for more information and or to set up an evaluation.