Sedation Dentistry in Van Nuys, CA
Taking the Fear Out of Going to the Dentist
Most people are somewhat nervous about going to the dentist, but for some people, the fear can be almost debilitating. Often, this can prevent people from getting the preventive care they need to stay healthy. What happens then is that is they end up going to the dentist only when an emergency situation pops up, such as a toothache. Treatment is then likely to be more complex, which only serves to perpetuate their fear.
The best way to avoid emergency dental treatment is regular dental checkups, and for the anxious, sedation dentistry can often be the answer.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
People who have anxiety over visiting the dentist can often benefit from sedation, which can help dental patients relax before, during, and after their procedure.
Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to help people feel more relaxed. There are a number of different options, depending on the procedure and the patient’s anxiety level. Although it’s sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” it generally refers to a more relaxed state for patients rather than an actual sleeping state.
What Types of Sedation Are Available?
Even patients who aren’t necessarily fearful of the dentist but may have a low tolerance for discomfort or a sensitive gag reflex find that sedation dentistry can be very useful. At The Dental Care Center, we offer several different sedation options.
This is the most common procedure and is generally done for fillings or other minor procedures as a matter of course. Your dentist will start by applying a topical gel to ensure a painless stick when the numbing agent, usually lidocaine, is injected directly into the gums in the area where the treatment will be. The entire treatment area will be numb so you will not feel any pain. You will be fully conscious during the procedure, and the anesthesia will wear off afterward.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless, odorless gas that patients breathe in through a mask placed over their nose. Often called “laughing gas,” the gas helps patients feel completely at ease during their procedure. You will be conscious but relatively anxiety free while you are breathing in the gas. Once the gas is switched off, you’ll return to your normal state right away, so this is a good option for those who may need to drive themselves or return to work after the procedure.
Oral sedation is a good option for patients who have somewhat higher than average anxiety about visiting the dentist. You will be prescribed a pill to be taken about an hour or so before your scheduled procedure. It will help you to be very relaxed and drowsy while you are undergoing treatment. You will likely maintain consciousness, but you probably won’t remember much about it. Because you will be groggy, you will need to arrange a ride to and from your appointment.
Contact Us for More Information
Don’t let routine dental care turn in to an emergency situation. Get the regular dental care you need to stay healthy by taking advantage of sedation dentistry. You can learn more by calling our office. We are happy to talk with you about how sedation dentistry can put your dental anxiety to rest and ensure you get the care you need!