Does the thought of walking into a dentist’s office cause anxiety? While most people can come and go to a dental appointment without a hiccup, some people with dental anxieties can have a very difficult time. Dental anxieties and dental phobia can be so debilitating and overwhelming that some people may forego necessary oral care for years.

Dr. Holloman offers sedation dentistry in a serene treatment setting. Our staff strives to accommodate the needs of all our patients, including those with anxiety and dental phobia. We take a compassionate approach to treatment so that our guests can build positive experiences and establish a comfortable relationship with our team. Sedation dentistry involves the administration of medications or “laughing gas” to increase comfort, reduce anxiety, and promote a contented treatment experience.

Understanding Dental Anxiety and Phobias

Many people suffer with uncontrollable and debilitating anxieties related to dental treatment and clinical settings. When a person is plagued with moderate to severe anxiety related to a specific thing, place, or type of event, it is called a phobia. Dental phobias are not incredibly uncommon. Some people have genetic predispositions to anxiety disorders while others might develop a dental phobia after a negative experience with dental professionals or dental treatment.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

Those with phobia of dental settings can find great relief with sedation dentistry. By utilizing compounds like nitrous oxide or sedating medication, patients can feel calm and relaxed during treatment. This is possible because sedation works with receptors in the brain responsible for producing the chemical reactions that cause feelings of severe panic, worry, and fear. By impeding the chemical reactions responsible for anxiety, sedating medications can allow a person to rest peacefully and comfortably during treatment. If you are interested in sedation dentistry for dental phobias, we recommend speaking with our dentist, Dr. Holloman. After discussing your needs and asking some questions, our dentist will be able to determine if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry.

Types of Sedation

There are a few different forms of sedation available to patients. The benefits and effects of each method differ. The mildest form of sedation is nitrous oxide. Commonly called “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide has pain-relieving and sedating effects. When administered, patients receiving nitrous oxide report feelings of warm euphoria and calmness.

Another option for anxious patients is conscious sedation. This type of sedation involves administering medication that can produce a very relaxed state. Some people might fall asleep during treatment. Even though sleepiness and grogginess are common side effects of sedatives, patients will not be induced into a medically unconscious state. Those receiving sedation dentistry will be able to respond to instructions or questions. Sedating medication administered in tablet or IV form has lasting effects on cognitive and motor function. Due to this, those receiving prescription medication during treatment must have a friend or family member provide transportation to and from our office.

For questions about comfort amenities like sedation dentistry, call our office today.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Dental anxiety and phobias are more common than most people might think. Anxieties and phobias related to dental settings and treatment can be so debilitating that people will forego the oral healthcare they need. These phobias may be related to general dental settings or specific things such as the sound of a dental drill.

If you have excessive fear or nervousness when it comes to dental treatment, we encourage you to discuss this with our team. Our mission is to accommodate the needs of all our patients. For those with anxiety, we will provide as serene a setting as possible and some patients might be eligible for sedation dentistry to improve their comfort levels.

Conscious sedation is a method for controlling anxiety in patients or to increase comfort during more invasive procedures. This type of sedation will not induce an unconscious state. While patients might feel groggy and relaxed enough to fall asleep, they will be able to respond to questions or instructions.

Laughing gas is a common term for nitrous oxide. This gas is emitted through a soft nasal mask and produces feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Nitrous oxide is useful for minimizing discomfort because of its pain-relieving effects along with promoting feelings of calmness and ease. This type of sedation dentistry option is mild and does not have lingering effects, which means that patients can drive to and from their appointments.

Sedation dentistry can be very cost effective if patients are receiving nitrous oxide or prescription tablets. Many patients can pay for these services out of pocket, if necessary. If you have questions about your dental insurance coverage, it is best to call your policy carrier for clarification or look through your “Explanation of Benefits” handbook.