4450 Walton Blvd., Waterford, MI 48329

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Can Sedation Dentistry Help You Time Travel?

Do you remember riding in the car when you were a child? More importantly, do you recall falling asleep in the car on long trips?

When you woke up, it was a pleasant surprise to learn that you had arrived where you were going. It was almost as if you had travelled in time.

What if you could have that same feeling at the dentist office? With sedation dentistry, you may have a similar experience.

You sit down and enter into a state of conscious sedation. The next thing you remember is you are finished with your dental care. You might even be back home by this point.

If you experience dental anxiety, this might seem like a dream come true. In fact, this is a reality for many patients at The Waterford Dentist in Waterford, MI.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry grew out of experiments conducted more than two centuries ago. People studied the effects of nitrous oxide, which you may know as "laughing gas."

As people learned more about nitrous oxide's ability to reduce and even eliminate the sensation of pain, it became more common for dentists to use nitrous oxide in procedures such as pulling teeth.

Today, nitrous oxide is still used both for its pain relieving properties and because of its calming effects on patients.

Estimates vary, but somewhere between 9 and 20 percent of people in the United States avoid going to the dentist because of dental anxiety. For many of those patients, sedation dentistry could make it possible for them to receive the basic dental care that they need.

Is Sedation Dentistry For You?

Just thinking about going to the dentist can make your heart race if you are a patient with dental anxiety, dental fear, or dental phobia. That is OK. There is nothing wrong with you. Dental anxiety is common.

But we have several patients who take advantage of dental sedation to help them manage their anxiety, too.

Dental sedation offers a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Helping patients feel relaxed
  • Helping patients feel comfortable
  • Helping patients remain still during a cleaning or other procedure
  • Providing anesthetic benefits so patients don't feel pain
  • Helping patients keep their gag reflex under control
  • Allowing patients to receive treatment without any memory of that treatment

Sometimes you will hear sedation dentistry referred to as "sleep dentistry." While some patients do fall asleep, most are in a state of conscious sedation.

This means they are aware enough to respond to requests from the hygienist or dentist (i.e. "Turn your head a little to the left" or "Close your mouth a little.") even though the patient may not remember any of the procedure itself.

What Kinds Of Sedation Dentistry Are Available?

At The Waterford Dentist, we know that comfortable, relaxed patients are easier to treat. This is why we offer three types of sedation dentistry. All three are safe and effective, and we are confident one of them can help you or someone you love manage his or her dental anxiety.

Here is a short description of each kind of sedation.

▶︎ Nitrous oxide

We mentioned "laughing gas" earlier, and it's still used today by many dentists to help their patients. Nitrous oxide can give you a euphoric feeling, which also helps you remain calm during your dental treatment.

You will breathe the gas through a mask that covers your nose. With just a few breaths, you will start to feel the effects. You will wear the mask during your cleaning or other procedure, and when it's finished, we simply turn off the gas and remove the mask.

Again, it only takes a few breaths for you to start feeling like you normal self, which means you can drive yourself home.

▶︎ Oral conscious sedation

This is a stronger form of sedation than nitrous oxide. With this, you take a pill before your procedure begins. By the time you sit down in the dentist chair, you will feel so relaxed that you won't mind having your teeth cleaned and examined.

The effects last longer than nitrous oxide, so you will need someone to drive you home after your appointment.

▶︎ IV sedation

This is the strongest form of sedation we offer. This is reserved for longer procedures or patients with extreme dental fear, and it is administered by a licensed professional. Like oral conscious sedation, the effects will last for a while. Again, you will need someone else to drive you home.

We Are Ready To Answer Your Questions

Please contact us if you would like to know more about the sedation dentistry we offer for patients in and around Waterford.

Call The Waterford Dentist at 248-257-5394 or use our online form to make an appointment.