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How to Deal With Dental Anxiety

Relaxed woman who is reclining on a beige couch in the sunlightBeing afraid of or conjuring general anxiety over going to the dentist is a real thing that can impede people from receiving the dental care they need. Many dental practices have options for patients in order to help ease patients’ anxiety. Our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands, offers sedation dentistry to help patients be more comfortable during dental procedures.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can be a great method for easing anxiety among patients who get nervous about visiting the dentist’s office. Countering dental anxiety is crucial, as fearful patients often avoid going to the dentist and any potential oral issues will simply get worse if they are not treated. Using sedation dentistry, patients can feel calm going into the office and then relaxed even further by use of sedation techniques. At our practice, sedation options include nitrous oxide, conscious sedation dentistry, or IV sedation.

Nitrous Oxide: Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is an inhalable gaseous product that can effectively relax patients. This sedation does not always put patients to sleep, and they are still able to communicate with Dr. Sands. However, sometimes patients are so relaxed that they slowly fall asleep.

Conscious Sedation Dentistry: Another method for becoming extremely relaxed at the dentist is through conscious sedation dentistry. By utilizing a small pill that is swallowed one hour before the treatment, patients arrive at our office relaxed, even slightly drowsy. This treatment also does not put patients to sleep, but they often report that they felt asleep, due to how calm they were.

IV Sedation: IV sedation uses an intravenous sedation technique that is only used for patients who are experiencing a severe case of dental anxiety. Unlike the other sedation dentistry methods, IV sedation is designed to effectively put patients to sleep during their treatment, whereas the other sedation options would only place patients into a deeply-relaxed state.

For conscious sedation dentistry and IV sedation, patients should arrange a ride to and from the dentist. Patients who undergo nitrous oxide are often able to drive themselves home after their treatment. All three methods are effective ways to reduce dental anxiety, but in a personalized consultation, Dr. Sands will be able to determine which sedation dentistry treatment a patient needs, if any at all.


If you want to to know more about dental anxiety and sedation dentistry, contact us today to talk with one of our team members or schedule a consultation!

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