Fear or anxiety related to going to the dentist is not uncommon, but in some cases, it can be a significant problem. Dental phobia often causes patients with extreme fear to avoid regular oral exams and cleanings, leading to gum disease and other serious dental problems. Thankfully, at Dental Professionals of Fair Lawn, we offer sedation dentistry – a way for anxious patients to feel calm and relaxed during treatment.
Sedation dentistry is a way for many people to reduce their fear of the dentist, but it is also helpful for those who are undergoing multiple procedures in one visit. Sedation dentistry can help with:
- Fear of needles
- Discomfort with tastes, smells, and sounds associated with the dentist
- Sensitive teeth
- Inability to become numb after Novacaine injections
At Dental Professionals of Fair Lawn, we use nitrous oxide as one of our advanced sedation dentistry techniques. This method has been commonly used in dental treatments for many years, and has proven to be very effective in relieving tensions and anxieties, allowing for a very relaxed state during dental procedures. Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” will help you to go into a state of deep relaxation. Most patients will not actually be asleep, but some patients might drift off into a light sleep. The gas is breathed in through the nose, and should take effect within approximately 20 seconds. After your dental treatment is completed, the effects of nitrous oxide will quickly wear off. Most patients should be able to drive themselves home after their procedure, unless advised otherwise by your dentist.
It is important to note that not all patients will be able to have treatment with nitrous oxide. People with certain medical conditions may not qualify for this treatment for health reasons. One of our dentists will discuss your options with you to determine an appropriate treatment plan.
Oral Conscious Sedation
With oral conscious sedation, you will be able to communicate with your dentist during treatment, and you will be aware of what is happening. However, you should not feel any pain or anxiety during the procedure. This is accomplished simply through the use of a small pill. Prior to coming to our office for your appointment, your dentist will ask you to take the pill (usually about one hour before). The effects of the sedation pill can often take a while to wear off, so it is advisable for patients to arrange for transportation home after treatment.
To accommodate our patients who have extreme anxiety when it comes to dental procedures, we offer IV sedation. We recommend for patients who undergo IV sedation to have someone to drive them home from their appointment, as they will be very groggy after the procedure has been completed. During the dental treatment, patients under IV sedation will be completely asleep. To ensure each of our patients’ safety, we work with an experienced anesthesiologist, who can administer the IV sedation and monitor the patient during treatment.
For patients who are developmentally disabled, or who require stronger sedation, we offer general anesthesia as an option. As attendings at Hackensack University Medical Center, we are able to work out of the operating room at the hospital and utilize general anesthesia during treatment. For safety purposes, it is important for patients who have had general anesthesia to arrange to have someone drive them home after treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about sedation dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dental Professionals of Fair Lawn, please contact us today.