Dental Anxiety & Your Oral Health
Dental anxiety can play a significant role in patients’ willingness and ability to visit the dentist and get the care they need.
If you feel nervous about visiting the dentist, you may put off your regular maintenance appointments, or put off getting the treatment your need when you have a dental health problem.
Over time, this can have a cumulative negative effect on your overall dental health, and can actually result in the need for more frequent, invasive dental procedures down the road.
The sooner you can find ways to overcome, or at least manage, your feelings of anxiety around visiting the dentist, the fewer appointments and procedures you’ll need in the long run. Your dentist can try and help you reduce anxiety and accomplish your dental health goals.
How Dental Sedation Helps
At Atlantic Dental Centre, our dentists offer sedation for a variety of dental procedures. Dental sedation can help you feel more relaxed and less nervous before and during your dental appointment.
There are two primary forms of sedation for dentistry that are commonly used in dental offices with the goal of helping enhance the experience of our patients by decreasing stress and anxiety as much as possible:
Oral sedation typically comes in pill or liquid form and can be taken anywhere from twenty-four hours to one hour before a dental appointment, depending on your needs and level of anxiety.
One of the benefits of oral sedation is that you can take the medication yourself.
Oral sedation will not render you unconscious, but it will make you feel calm and drowsy. You may even doze off during your appointment. You will still be able to interact with your dentist during the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide (more commonly known as laughing gas) sedation is a gas that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose.
Nitrous oxide will not put you to sleep. You will be aware, and able to respond to comments or questions from your dentist throughout the procedure.
Nitrous oxide typically provides a pleasant feeling of calm and good humour, and one of its primary benefits is that it wears off almost immediately after the mask has been removed.
Preparing for Sedation
Your dentist will give you specific instructions, based on your needs, for how to prepare for your dental sedation appointment, and what to do afterwards.
We advise patients to have a friend or family member drive them to and from the appointment because driving is not advised until after the effects of the sedation have worn off.