Sedation Dentistry: 3 Effective Methods

Does the thought of the dentist make you break out in a sweat? You’re not alone. An estimated 61% of people worldwide have dental anxiety, and one-third of Americans report avoiding the dentist because of their fear.

Our skilled team at South Bay Prosthodontics in Torrance, California, understands how dental phobia and anxiety can keep you from getting the oral health care you need. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry, so you don’t have to put off your visit another minute.

How sedation dentistry works

It’s easy to assume that “sedation dentistry” means you’re unconscious throughout the procedure. However, we offer three types of sedation, which means we can address all levels of anxiety or fear as needed — whether it’s minor or severe.

1. Oral medication

Taking an oral, prescription-strength medication is possibly the simplest way to approach dental anxiety. This form of sedation puts you in a state of relaxation before you walk through the door, because you take it before you arrive. And, depending on how you feel, we can even administer additional sedation to keep you comfortable throughout your appointment.

2. Gas sedation

Another common form of sedation dentistry, this one involves inhaling nitrous oxide. We put a gas mask over your nose throughout your appointment. Most people refer to this option as “laughing gas” because it helps you feel calm and happy when you inhale it.

3. IV sedation

As the name implies, you get IV sedation through an intravenous drip administered by a fully trained and credentialed anesthesiologist. This type of sedation induces sleep very quickly and provides highly effective and safe results, even if you have severe anxiety.

Each of these sedation dentistry options wears off within a few hours, but you need a driver to take you to and from your appointment.

Choosing the right type of sedation

We make recommendations for sedation on a case-by-case basis. First, we determine if you’re a good candidate for sedation dentistry by gauging your:

To determine which form of sedation can keep you the most comfortable, we also consider the sensitivity of your gag reflex, the amount of dental work you need, and your level of fear and anxiety.

Based on this assessment, we could prescribe an oral medication for you to take before your appointment. Once you arrive for your visit, we can discuss how you feel again and add more sedation if needed to help you become more relaxed.

Even if you have extreme dental anxiety, rest easy knowing that our experienced and compassionate team understands your concerns and works to keep you comfortable every step of the way. Once you feel relaxed and calm, we take care of your teeth and finish before you know it.

Don’t let dental phobias or anxiety keep you from scheduling a dental visit. Contact South Bay Prosthodontics to learn more about sedation dentistry by calling 310-378-9261 today.

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