Overcome Your Fear Of The Dentist With Sedation Dentistry
Do your palms sweat or your hands shake when you think about visiting the dentist? If you put off making dental appointments and suffer from dental pain because of fear of the dentist, then you could be one of the estimated 10 percent of people in the U.S. to suffer from dental phobia. Whether you’re looking into cosmetic dentistry, a simple cavity filling, or a standard dentist appointment, it’s unfortunate to let your fear inhibit your oral health.
Dental anxiety or phobia is a real condition. Sufferers have an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Poor oral health has also been found to have links to some serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Thankfully, many dentists have recognized the need to make provisions for patients who experience anxiety about professional dental care. This is ultimately done so patients can benefit from greater oral and general health.
Local dentist Dr. Guy Leavitt and the entire team at Fort Collins Dental Arts are reassuring and reliable, which can make all the difference in a dental treatment. We offer the highest quality of safe and effective sedation dentistry for patients with dental anxiety living in Fort Collins and the surrounding areas.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry — which is also known as sleep dentistry — involves using medication to assist patients in relaxing for dental procedures. There are multiple depths of sedation used, and the depth you are given will depend on the level of anxiety that you are feeling during the dental procedure. For example, you may feel less anxiety during a teeth cleaning than you would during a dental implant surgery. If so, we could adjust the amount of dental sedation.
With minimal sedation, you will be awake and aware of what is going on around you, but you’ll be completely relaxed. This is the only type of sedation whereby you might be able to drive yourself home afterward, but only with approval from Dr. Leavitt and the rest of your dental team.
Patients who have moderate sedation are less aware of what is going on during the procedure, and they may not remember much of the procedure. Slurring of words and slight unsteadiness on your feet is completely normal after moderate sedation. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you after the dental procedure.
If you are given deep sedation, you will be on the very edge of consciousness for your procedure. Again, you will certainly need someone to drive you home and stay with you after leaving the dental office.
If you suffer from extreme anxiety or have physical impairments that prevent you from having dental work carried out under any other type of sedation, then you may be recommended a general anesthetic. This means you will be asleep for the duration of the procedure and will remember nothing.
Types of Anesthesia
The type of anesthesia suggested by our team will depend on your level of anxiety and the type of dental treatment you need. It is important to remember that you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area that is being worked on; this is in addition to your sedation drugs.
Usually used in light sedation, nitrous oxide — or “laughing gas” as it is more commonly known — helps you feel relaxed during your dental treatment, be it a tooth implant, tooth extraction, cavity filling, or another dental procedure. It is administered via a mask placed over your nose, and because it wears off quickly, our team will carefully monitor how much gas you are getting to ensure you remain calm and relaxed at all times.
Oral sedation is usually administered in the form of a pill which is taken around 60 minutes prior to your treatment. This will make you feel drowsy and you may even doze off during your procedure.
Intravenous or IV drugs are used in moderate-to-deep sedations and are administered via an injection into a vein. This type of sedation works very quickly and is carefully monitored and adjusted as needed to keep the patient comfortable for the duration of their procedure.
Am I A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a great solution for people who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia. However, it is also a practical and successful way of helping those patients who:
- Have particularly sensitive teeth
- Have a very strong gag reflex
- Have a physical or neurological condition that prevents them from holding their mouth open
- Are unable to sit still for a procedure
- Are unable to tolerate any level of pain
- Need extensive dental work completed
Choose Dr. Leavitt For Sedation Dentistry In Fort Collins
Looking for a dentist in Fort Collins? Dr. Guy Leavitt is your guy. He and the rest of the staff at our family dentistry are dedicated to making you feel happy and healthy with your dental treatment. If you suffer from dental anxiety, don’t be afraid to tell our team about your concerns. Fort Collins Dental Arts is here to help you feel comfortable with your smile — and to feel comfortable when you’re in our dental office. Call us today to learn more about sedation dentistry in Fort Collins at (970) 297 7108. We offer dentistry for children and adults alike, and we can’t wait to help you feel comfortable while taking care of your oral health.