At 38th Street Dental, we use advanced, gentle techniques to provide efficient treatments that involve minimal discomfort. At the same time, we recognize that dental anxiety is a common problem, and can make routine dental care quite nerve-wracking. For that reason, Dr. C. Mike Meek and Dr. David J. Tasch offer sedation dentistry at their Austin, TX, practice. Both nitrous oxide and oral sedation can be very effective if you struggle with anxiety. Sedation can also benefit you if you are going to have a more lengthy procedure. Before your treatment, Dr. Meek or Dr. Tasch will determine the right type of sedation based on your anxiety level and specific treatment.
Are You a Candidate for Sedation?
Significant dental anxiety is one of the most common reasons that we administer sedation. If you suffer from this condition, you may feel intense dread even at the thought of going to the dentist. You could also experience a racing heartbeat, nausea, sweating, insomnia, and several other effects. Dental anxiety can arise for several reasons. In some cases, it is the result of past experiences with other dentists. It could also develop because of extreme dental sensitivity, claustrophobia, or several other factors. No matter the source of your anxiety, dental sedation can alleviate your fears.
With sedation, your treatment will be over before you know it, and you could have much less anxiety the next time you schedule a dental visit.
Other situations in which you may benefit from sedation include:
- You are going to have a more extensive procedure
- You have a strong gag reflex
- You have a back problem or other medical condition that makes sitting in a dental chair very uncomfortable
Types of Sedation
Nitrous oxide is one of the most common types of sedation. Typically, we recommend this option if you have low to moderate dental anxiety. Also known as “laughing gas,” this odorless gas will induce a deeply relaxed or even mildly euphoric feeling. Your arms and legs may also feel warm and tingly. You will inhale nitrous oxide through a mask, and you will feel its effects very quickly. Because it will also wear off rapidly, you can usually drive yourself home from your appointment.
Oral conscious sedation is another option, and it may be appropriate if you have moderate to severe anxiety or dental phobia. When you select this method, you will receive a prescription for antianxiety medications. You will take these medications as directed an hour prior to your dental appointment. Oral conscious sedation will produce a “twilight sleep,” in which you will technically be awake but not fully aware of what is going on around you. It will take some time for the medications to wear off, so someone else will need to drive you to and from the office. When the medications have left your system, you will have very little memory of your treatment.
Risks and Benefits of Dental Sedation
When administered properly, dental sedation has very few risks. Our practitioners have extensive experience with these medications, so they should pose negligible dangers to your health.
Although risks are minimal, sedation can have tremendous benefits. First, it will make your treatment easy and stress-free, even if you suffer from significant dental phobia. With sedation, your treatment will be over before you know it, and you could have much less anxiety the next time you schedule a dental visit. Second, sedation could improve your oral health, since you will be more likely to attend regular appointments. With ongoing care, our team can reduce your risk for decay and gum disease, and we can lay a foundation for a beautiful, healthy smile.
Contact Us to Enjoy Stress-free Care
We want to ensure that you receive the dental care you need. To learn more about sedation dentistry and to find out if you qualify for these medications, contact 38th Street Dental today.