Fear of visiting the dentist is a common phobia for patients of all ages. For some patients, coming to our practice for a dental appointment causes a slight amount of anxiety while other patients may completely forego dental treatment because their fears are more pronounced and debilitating. To help meet our patients’ unique needs and promote a comfortable environment, Dr. Amer provides varying levels of sedation.
Types of Sedation
The most common form of sedation involves administering nitrous oxide gas through a small mask over the nose. This gas has been used in dentistry and medicine for decades because it offers a euphoric, anesthetic, and sedative effect. Nitrous oxide works quickly to help make our patients more comfortable and when the mask is removed, its effects wear off faster than oral sedatives, allowing our patients to drive themselves safely back to work or their homes. Nitrous oxide is safe for children and is a popular choice for minimal discomfort and worry caused by dental phobias.
Another common method for assisting our patients with dental anxiety is the use of prescription medication that is administered orally. The most common medications prescribed come from the benzodiazepine family of medications. This type of medicine is designed specifically for anxiety. By working with the GABA receptors in the brain, benzodiazepines reduce feelings of fear, panic, and worry and promote a calm, relaxed demeanor. In addition to combating dental phobias, this medicine is useful for dental procedures that require stillness. If an oral sedative is needed, Dr. Amer considers a number of factors to ensure proper dosage.
For more extensive or complex procedures that require a deeper sedation, Dr. Amer may work with an anesthesiologist to administer sedative and anesthetic medicine intravenously. This type of sedation will vary in its strength depending on your unique situation.
If you have dental phobias or anxiety, we welcome you to discuss them with our team and ask if sedation dentistry is right for your needs.
To schedule an appointment with our caring and gentle dental team, call our office today.