Is dental anxiety stopping you from getting the dental care you need? You’re not alone. Many people experience some degree of dental anxiety, ranging from mild discomfort to full-blown fear. In fact, dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias, with up to 80% of adults and children experiencing at least some level of fear when visiting the dentist.
Dental anxiety is often caused by a combination of factors, including negative past experiences, fear of pain, embarrassment, and a general dislike of dental instruments and procedures. For some people, the anxiety is so severe that it prevents them from seeking dental care altogether. This can lead to serious oral health problems as well as other health problems associated with poor oral hygiene.
If you’re struggling with dental anxiety, there are a number of things you can do to ease your fears and get the dental care you need. For starters, contact our office to discuss your concerns; our friendly team members can ease your mind and help you feel more comfortable about your upcoming appointment. Another option we offer at our practice is dental sedation. Dental sedation is a safe and effective way to help you relax during your dental procedure.
To learn more about dental sedation, contact our Washington, DC office and review the below information! From there, we can determine if dental sedation is the right solution for you.
Nitrous oxide is one of the most popular dental sedatives available. The sedative is administered as a gas that is inhaled through a small mask placed over the nose. No needles, no pills, and no invasive process is involved; patients will simply breathe in and feel the relaxing effects within minutes. Nitrous oxide often causes patients to feel lightheaded and relaxed, leading to a sense of euphoria. Many patients also report feeling as if they are in a dream-like state. However, they are conscious and capable of responding to questions and following instructions. Because nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that wears off quickly, patients will be able to drive themselves home and return to their daily activities after their dental appointment.
Another form of sedative that we provide in our office is oral sedation. Oral sedation is a bit stronger than nitrous oxide and takes more time to take effect. For this reason, we prescribe the medication for you to take an hour prior to your appointment. The oral sedative is delivered in the form of a pill that you will swallow. As the effects begin to kick in, you will start to feel drowsy and may even fall asleep during your dental procedure. If this occurs, don’t worry; our team is trained to monitor you closely and make sure you are safe and comfortable throughout your appointment. If we need to ask you questions or require you to follow any instructions, we will carefully wake you. Once your appointment is finished, you will need someone to drive you home, as you will not be able to operate a vehicle. The effects of the oral sedative can last up to 24 hours, so it is important that you relax and rest for the remainder of the day.