I’ve been having anxiety in the dental chair. I have absolutely no idea why. I’m proactive and didn’t want to just avoid the dentist. I want good teeth. So, I started researching sedation dentists. There are two in my area with good reviews. One only offers nitrous oxide. The other offers nitrous and oral conscious sedation. They both say they’re good for patients with dental anxiety but there must be differences. Can you help me figure out which is best for me?
I’m sorry for the anxiety you’ve been feeling lately. Though, I will say it’s great that you’re already looking for solutions instead of merely avoiding the dentist. Many anxious patients find dental sedation changes lives. Your teeth will return the favor by looking out for you as well.
Too many patients with dental anxiety just keep avoiding the dentist until there is a dental emergency. This makes the whole situation much worse, including the financial cost.
Dental Sedation with Nitrous Oxide
When you have mild anxiety, this is the best choice. It is a simple gas that you breathe in with a nose piece. It makes you feel relaxed and at ease. It’s sometimes called laughing gas because you’ll feel a bit “floaty”.
Once your procedure is over, your dentist will switch the gas to pure oxygen. You’ll feel back to normal and will be free to go and get on with your day.
Oral Conscious Sedation
This is for serious anxiety. You’ll take a pill before your procedure. It’s quite strong so you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you at home until you are more lucid.
While you are conscious and can respond and answer questions, most patients simply sleep through the procedure. It will require a consultation with your dentist ahead of time. You’ll want to bring a list of all the medications you take, including over-the-counter medications. This is to ensure the sedation medication the dentist gives you won’t interfere with anything you are already taking.
Which Sedation is Right for You?
You know your level of anxiety better than anyone. If you think you just need something to relax you, then nitrous will be sufficient and won’t interfere with the remainder of your day.
If, however, your anxiety is strong, nitrous may not be enough. In that case, you’ll want the Oral Conscious Sedation. Just remember you’ll need someone to be with you. You’ll be loopy and don’t want to be on your own throughout the day while you recover.
This blog is brought to you by Buffalo Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.