November 5, 2016
You’re sitting in your car just like you have been for the past 10 minutes. The engine isn’t on and you’re blankly starring at the wheel. You told yourself that you were finally going to visit the dentist today, but the usual anxiety has come on stronger than ever. You resist the urge to pick up your phone and cancel.
It’s been years since you’ve seen the dentist and you know you need to go. You said that your gift to yourself this year would be to finally take care of teeth. You’re like many patients around the country who suffer from overwhelming dental anxiety. Dr. Edward Dougherty Jr., your sedation dentist in Ocean City, empathizes with you completely, and wants you to know how he and the team at Delmarva Sedation Dentistry can help patients just like you.
Reasons for Sedation Dentistry
Millions of people avoid going to the dentist every year because of dental anxiety. This can come from their past experience or the perception that the dentist will hurt them. Sedation dentistry specifically helps patients in this situation. It can’t completely take away anxious thoughts, but it can make them much more manageable.
Sedation dentistry also allows your dentist to perform a variety of procedures without causing you any physical discomfort. This is all to help curtail the fear that can prevent someone from getting the dental care that they need. No matter how nervous a patient might be, Dr. Dougherty knows he can help them.
Sedation has another benefit: it allows a patient to have a lot of dental work done in one visit. This is ideal for busy people working within a tight schedule. Sedation helps more people fit dental care seamlessly into their lives.
Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is the ideal method of sedation for patients with moderate anxiety who are undergoing routine check-ups and cleanings. A mask is placed over the nose of the patient and they only need to breathe normally. The effects of the gas can be felt in less than a minute, and it usually brings on a warm, calming sensation. The patient will still be awake, but completely relaxed physically and mentally. Once the procedure is over, the mask is removed and the patient should feel normal within a minute, able to go on with their day.
Patients who have a higher level of anxiety or need more involved procedures may benefit from oral sedation. This involves taking a pill the day of the procedure that has been prescribed by Dr. Dougherty. By the time you reach the office and the procedure has started, you should be deeply sedated. It makes time fly by quickly and keep your mind at ease.
If you are going to use oral conscious sedation, please let Dr. Dougherty know about any other medications you may be taking. On the day of the procedure, a family member or someone close to you needs to drive you to and from the office, as well as keep an eye on you for the rest of the day. All the effects of the sedation should wear off by the next morning.
Patients who experience more severe anxiety or need to have multiple procedures done in one visit may elect to have IV sedation. In this case, a sedative will be administered intravenously. After an area on the arm has been disinfected, a painless injection will start the actual sedation process. IV sedation is much deeper and faster acting that nitrous oxide or oral sedation. It is also more flexible and enables Dr. Dougherty to adjust your sedation level throughout the procedure as you need it.
While you may remain conscious during the procedure, many patients completely fall asleep or have no memory of it afterward. IV sedation enables the team at Delmarva Sedation Dentistry to take care of the most sensitive of patients with ease. Due to the strength of IV sedation, it is advised that a family member or someone close to you drive you to and from the office, as well as stay with you the rest of the day. By the next morning, you should feel completely normal.
Want to Know More?
You don’t have to be afraid to go to the dentist this holiday season. No matter what your needs are, we are able to take care of you. We’re always ready to listen to your concerns and give you everything you need to feel comfortable. If you want to know more about how sedation dentistry can help take the fear out of your dental care, please give us a call today.
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