If you haven’t received the dental care or treatment you need, what’s stopping you? Even if you have been seeing the dentist but find that experience extremely stressful, what’s behind that stress and anxiety? For many people — as much as 36% of the population to at least some extent, and 12% to an extreme degree — dental fear and anxiety makes it seem impossible to get the dental treatment they need. Even if they can get over that fear and anxiety to find their way to the dentist, doing so is exhausting and ridden with fear and anxiety.
The goal of sedation dentistry in Okotoks is simple: To help people who face powerful barriers to getting the dental treatment that they need without experiencing discomfort, stress, anxiety and fear. If fear and anxiety or other factors like those listed below are standing between you and good oral health, undergoing sedation dentistry near you can help. If you experience any of the following, sedation dentistry at your dentist in Okotoks may be right for you:
- You experience significant fear and anxiety associated with seeing the dentist
- If you’ve experienced traumatic medical or dental experiences in the past
- If you’ve experienced difficulty achieving numbness with traditional anesthetics in the past
- If you have a particularly sensitive gag reflex
- If your teeth are especially sensitive
- You require treatment for complex dental problems or a series of procedure in a single appointment
- If you or your child have emotional or mental characteristics that make it difficult for you or your child to remain still or calm for as long as will be required to receive the treatment that you need
Sedation dentistry options
Undergoing sedation dentistry near you is not a cookie-cutter and off-the-shelf treatment option. A dentist near you can tailor various sedation options to respond to the specific impediments that you experience. There are three primary options: Laughing gas, conscious oral sedation and intravenous sedation.
Nitrous oxide, aka laughing gas
Nitrous oxide is inhaled from a mask over your nose to help you to achieve a mild level of sedation within as little as 30 seconds or up to three to four minutes. With laughing gas, you’ll be relaxed and may even experience a giddy sensation but will remain completely conscious during treatment. Once your treatment is completed, the sedative produced by nitrous oxide will dissipate quickly after you inhale pure oxygen provided through the same mask for a few minutes.
Conscious oral sedation
Oral sedation is provided through a prescription drug taken in pill form one hour before your treatment is to begin. Your dentist and their staff will monitor your vital signs at all times, including your blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate and oxygen saturation. You’ll achieve a deeper level of relaxation than with nitrous oxide, and may have little to no memory of your dental appointment once treatment is over and the effects of the oral sedation have worn off.
Intravenous (IV) sedation
For patients who will undergo moderate to severe dental procedures such as wisdom tooth extractions or who experience more extreme forms of dental fear or anxiety, your dentist in Okotoks can provide sedation through an IV placed in a vein in your arm. With IV sedation, your vital signs will be monitored at all times while you achieve an even deeper level of relaxation. You’ll likely not remember any part of your treatment after the procedures are complete.
There is one further level of dental sedation available from a dentist near you — general anesthesia. Use of general anesthesia, in which you would be completely unconscious, is uncommon in dental procedures but may be appropriate for the most complex series of dental procedures and extreme obstacles to treatment. Procedures under general anesthesia are not performed at your dentist’s office, but at a medical clinic under medical supervision.
Are there obstacles to you receiving the dental treatment that you need to be, get and stay healthy? If you or your children are affected by dental anxiety, fear or other obstacles to treatment, ask your dentist if sedation dentistry is available to help you to get the care that you need.