Does the thought of dental treatment trigger fear and anxiety for you? Are you putting off dental treatment that you want or need because of these fears or anxieties?
Dr. Nancy Snyder understands the stress and apprehension that some people feel about going to the dentist. Fortunately, thanks to modern sedation dentistry solutions, she can help you undergo dental treatment without fear or anxiety.
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective option that puts you into a deeply relaxed and comfortable state during your dental appointment. The medication used will be carefully chosen for you based on your personal preferences, health history and dental treatment plan.
With sedation dentistry, you will remain conscious and able to communicate with our team. After your appointment, you will have little to no recollection of your treatment.
Could You Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?
You may benefit from sedation dentistry if you:
- Feel nervous or anxious at the thought of dental treatment
- Fear needles
- Are delaying treatment you want or need because of your fears or anxiety
- Had a bad dental experience with another dentist in the past
- Have trouble keeping your mouth open for long periods of time
- Have very sensitive teeth
- Have trouble sitting still for a long time
- Have a sensitive gag reflex or TMJ problems
- Need a lot of dental work done in one sitting
Dr. Snyder welcomes you to contact our team to inquire about sedation dentistry. If you would like to meet with her in person to discuss your specific dental needs and your fears (without performing any treatment), we are happy to accommodate. Together, you and Dr. Snyder will determine the most appropriate sedation option to help you safely and comfortably undergo dental treatment. We will treat you with complete respect and compassion, and never make you feel judged or embarrassed about your needs. We are committed to helping you achieve oral health and wellness without fear or anxiety!
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a commonly used form of sedation. You breathe in the gas through a small mask placed over your nose, and it should quickly make you feel very relaxed and comfortable while your treatment takes place. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off as soon as your procedure is complete and you take off the mask. You can drive yourself home from your appointment.
Oral conscious sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a stronger type of sedation administered through oral medication. About an hour prior to your appointment, you take a pill prescribed by Dr. Snyder. It will help you feel extremely relaxed and perhaps a little sleepy during your dental treatment. You may even take a short nap during treatment. Under oral conscious sedation, you will be able to respond to verbal cues and questions from our dental team. The medication will wear off after your appointment, and you will be left with no memory of your procedure. Because the effects of the medication linger longer than that of nitrous oxide, you will need to arrange for a companion to drive you to and from your appointment and stay with you as the medication wears off.
Local anesthetic is used with both types of sedation to numb the area of the mouth being treated.
IV (intravenous) sedation administers a moderate amount of sedative medication through your vein. Instead of being unconscious, you will be in a deep state of relaxation. This means that while you can respond to Dr. Snyder’s questions and instructions, you will be largely unaware of the dental procedure you are undergoing. In addition to limiting discomfort, IV sedation makes it more difficult to perceive time, taste, and sounds, which can also contribute to dental anxiety.
The team at Fort Oglethorpe Dental can adjust your sedation level throughout the appointment, if deemed necessary for any reason. Because IV sedation moves through the body quickly, you can resume normal activities much faster than you would after taking an oral sedative.
Advantages of Choosing Sedation Dentistry
Some patients decide to forego dental appointments, especially for more involved procedures, because of deep-rooted fears. Sedation dentistry is an opportunity for these patients to receive essential care. Since sedation makes it difficult to remember your visit to the dentist, this can help prevent your existing anxiety from getting worse.
Sedation dentistry is a relaxing experience that minimizes pain or discomfort even better than traditional Novocain. Appointments tend to go much quicker since you will not be wriggling in your chair, not that you will have a firm sense of how much time has passed anyway.
How Safe is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, performed under medical supervision, is extremely safe. For more involved forms of sedation like conscious IV sedation, your vitals (including your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels) are monitored throughout your appointment to ensure that you are responding normally to the drug. Our dental team will check that you have a safe ride home from our office.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
Do all dentists offer sedation services?
All dentists receive education on light sedation techniques like laughing gas, but training and certification are necessary to administer moderate sedation like IV conscious sedation. Accordingly, other dental professionals often refer their patients to Fort Oglethorpe Dental when they can benefit from having sedation services.
What is the difference between conscious and unconscious sedation?
Whereas conscious sedation keeps the patient awake (although not fully alert), unconscious sedation ensures that the patient is fully asleep during the procedure. Unconscious sedation requires the use of general anesthesia and is therefore typically reserved for hospital settings. Because forms of conscious sedation are safer, less expensive, and equally as successful at reducing anxiety in almost every circumstance, Dr. Snyder only recommends unconscious sedation in specific situations.
Is sedation dentistry appropriate for children?
Sedation dentistry is safe for children — our experts understand how to adjust the dosage accordingly to account for their smaller size. Kids who have dental anxiety at a young age or just have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time may be good candidates for sedation.
Can I drive myself home after sedation?
If you have had IV or oral sedation, it is not safe to operate a motor vehicle for 12 to 24 hours as the sedative gradually leaves your body. This is because you will feel drowsy, and your reaction time is delayed. Prior to your appointment, you should arrange to have a partner, friend, or family member safely drive you home.
Contact Dr. Nancy Snyder at Fort Oglethorpe Dental
Dr. Snyder belongs to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), an organization which provides training and continuing education for dentists that offer sedation dentistry. Her affiliation with DOCS helps her stay up to date on the latest advances in sedation dentistry, so you can feel confident you are getting the safest care possible.
To inquire about sedation dentistry or book an appointment with Dr. Snyder, please call or email Fort Oglethorpe Dental today.