Do chills of dread run up and down your spine when you think of visiting the dentist? If you’re afraid of settling down into that big chair with all the shiny tools around it, you’re not alone. Lots of people have dentophobia. Fortunately, your sedation dentist in Ephrata is empathetic toward your feelings and uses techniques to help you relax while you’re undergoing necessary procedures. How can your care provider make dental treatments as easy and painless as possible?
Nitrous oxide is commonly called “laughing gas,” and with a name like that, you know it can’t be that bad. In fact, it has helped millions of patients across the world put their anxieties aside while they’re receiving dental care.
Your dentist administers laughing gas through a nasal mask. You breathe it in, and right away you feel a sense of calm set in. With the right dosage, your treatment will be a breeze. After the procedure is over, the effects of the nitrous oxide wear off quickly. You’ll be able to get back to your life without any downtime. You’ll even be able to drive yourself home!
Oral Conscious Sedation
If you and your dentist in Ephrata decide that oral conscious sedation is right for you, you’ll take a sedative pill about an hour before your appointment. Because the drug is powerful, you should ask a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment.
For several hours after you swallow the pill, you’ll be extremely relaxed. However, you’ll still be conscious so you can respond to questions from your dentist. Many patients report that the day after their appointment, they don’t remember anything about the treatment they received.
If you opt for IV sedation, your dentist will administer a sedative through a needle inserted in your hand or arm. The dose can be adjusted throughout the procedure so you can stay comfortable and relaxed no matter what your dentist is doing in your mouth.
The effects of IV sedation can last for up to 24 hours, so it’s important that you have someone available to take you home after your appointment. You should avoid driving or operating heavy machine for at least 12 hours after you’ve been sedated.
Sedation Isn’t Just for Dentophobics
Even if you don’t have dental fears, a form of sedation might be right for you. If you have a strong gag reflex, if you find it difficult to sit still, or if you have very sensitive teeth or gums, you and your dentist might decide that you need help to relax during your appointment.
You don’t have to dread going to the dentist! Sedation techniques can make oral healthcare painless and comfortable.
About the Author
Dr. Sean Moriarty is a member of the experienced dental team at Ephrata Family Dentistry. This Pennsylvania native places a strong emphasis on continuing education; he has completed over 100 hours of extra education each year, and much of that learning has focused on IV sedation. If you have questions about sedation dentistry, reach out to our office via our website or by phone at 717-733-1088.