Dental Anxiety Remedies: Learn About our Sedation Options

Up to 80% of Americans experience some dental anxiety, and between 30 and 40 million of them avoid seeing the dentist because of it. While some anxiety about the dentist’s chair is natural, when it prevents you from getting the care you need, we sit up and take notice. Your dental health is extremely important and it can have a widespread impact on your overall health and wellness.

It’s for this reason that we here at Celebrity Smiles, under the expert guidance of Dr. Lori Ann Safar, offer several different sedation techniques to our San Diego area patients. These sedation techniques allow you to get the care you need for a future of great health, dental and otherwise.

If you or a loved one is avoiding your regular dental care because of anxiety and fear, why not learn a little bit about our sedation options?

Why the anxiety?

Anxiety over dental visits is more common than you might think. In fact, as the numbers in the introduction imply, dental anxiety is more than just an exception to the rule, and it affects a wide range of people. In kids, the added discomfort often stems from a natural fear of the unknown. The noises, the instruments, and the fact that they can’t really see what’s going on are often to blame. Let’s face it, the sounds of a drill can be magnified when it’s inside your head.

For adults, dental fear may carry over from childhood, or it may have developed after a bad experience. Another factor for adults is that they often have some anxiety about what might be wrong after years of deferred dental treatments. And this only gets worse as time goes on, leading them to think that a trip to the dentist will mean nothing but bad news and extensive catch-up work.

If you fall into any of these categories, we assure you that we have several ways to make your time in our chair a more pleasant experience. And many patients find that once they get here, most of their fears were unfounded.

Chilling out

To help our patients get the dental care they need, and to ease their concerns about it, we offer several different levels of sedation dentistry.

If you have some generalized anxiety, we can use minimal sedation techniques, such as an oral sedative that you can take before you even come through our doors, or nitrous oxide once you get here. Nitrous oxide is a fast-acting, odorless gas that’s often referred to as “laughing gas” because it not only provides anesthetic benefits, it puts you into a temporary state of pleasure. As quickly as the nitrous oxide goes to work, it subsides just as fast once we remove the mask.

With mild sedation, you’re completely aware of what’s going on around you, you’re just more relaxed.

If you need something stronger to ease your anxiety, we offer moderate sedation. We can administer this through oral pills or an IV. With this degree of sedation, you may still be conscious, but you’re in a dissociative state that may make you slur your speech or doze in and out.

A big advantage of IV sedation is that we can continually control your level of comfort throughout your visit, tweaking it as necessary, and discontinuing just as soon as we’re done. The effects of the IV sedation dissipate quickly once we remove the IV, though you’ll still need for someone to drive you home.

If you figure among the 5-14% of Americans who have an intense fear of dental work that may even cross over into a phobia, we offer deep sedation. To do this, we use general anesthesia that puts you to sleep for the entire procedure. Rest assured, we make sure you’re able to tolerate the general anesthesia and we monitor you closely throughout the procedure.

Don’t put your dental health on hold because of anxiety. Let us help you get the care you need through our sedation options. Just give us a call or use the online scheduler to learn more.

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