Dental Anxiety & Sedation Dentistry

Relax at 21st Century Dentistry

Feeling anxious about your next dental visit? Sedation dentistry can help you!

Dental anxiety is very common, and we’re here to help.

We want everyone to have a positive experience in our office, and managing varying levels of dental anxiety is an important part of that. We take the necessary time to review all treatment planned beforehand, because we want you to know exactly what to expect and that you will be well taken care of by our experienced team. Beyond that we strive to create a calming and comforting atmosphere in our office, including blankets, TVs in the treatment rooms, sunglasses, and a variety of music.

If you have significant dental anxiety, you may benefit from sedation dentistry. We offer a wide variety of sedation options in our office, from nitrous oxide to general anesthesia.

FACT: Almost 40% of the population have dental anxiety

Nitrous Oxide

One method of sedation commonly utilized in our office for mild dental anxiety is nitrous oxide, often called laughing gas. This helps relieve anxiety and is a great choice for both children and adults.

You simply breathe in the nitrous oxide gas through a nosepiece prior to beginning treatment, and you continue breathing in the gas throughout your procedure. This helps relieve anxiety and gives you a calm, euphoric feeling. When we have completed the necessary treatment, we then have you breathe in oxygen for about 5 minutes through the same nosepiece to completely reverse the effects. Nitrous oxide is very effective, safe to use, and is the only method of sedation that does not require someone else to transport you to and from your appointment.

Oral Conscious Sedation

If you are moderately anxious, oral conscious sedation may be the right option for you. With this method you’ll take a pill about an hour before your appointment to help you relax. You will generally feel drowsy and have less awareness of your time spent in the office, both of which can provide a more pleasant experience.

We will assess your level of relaxation prior to starting any treatment and may have you take a second pill if you are still feeling anxious. We may also administer nitrous oxide along with the oral sedation to help you achieve a more relaxed state. Due to the effects of the medications used in oral conscious sedation, you will need to have another adult transport you to and from your appointment.

IV Conscious Sedation

For those moderately anxious, we also offer IV conscious sedation. There are multiple advantages to IV sedation, but the goal of providing you a more pleasant experience is the same. With this method we will deliver the medications intravenously, so they take effect within a few minutes instead of almost an hour. This provides for better control of your level of sedation.

Depending on the specific needs of each patient, Dr. Thompson or a CRNA will administer the IV medications. You will generally feel drowsy while undergoing IV sedation and have little to no recollection of your time spent in the office. Although you may become very drowsy, our goal with IV conscious sedation is not for you to fall asleep. You will still have the ability to communicate and breathe on your own, which is one of the key differences between conscious sedation and deep sedation/general anesthesia. Due to the effects of the medications used in IV conscious sedation, you will need to have another adult transport you to and from your appointment.

Deep Sedation / General Anesthesia

If you or a loved one are severely anxious, deep sedation or general anesthesia may be necessary. With this method the medications are delivered intravenously, and we have teamed up with a local dental anesthesiologist who will come to the office to provide this service for our patients.

You will be completely unconscious while under general anesthesia and have no recollection of your time spent in the office. Unlike conscious sedation, you will not be able to communicate or breathe unassisted, so nasal intubation will be utilized while you are under general anesthesia. Due to the effects of the medications used in general anesthesia, you will need to have another adult transport you to and from your appointment.

Derek Thompson DMD

Sedation at 21st century dentistry

Before administering any sedation, it is critical to review your health history. We carefully screen all sedation patients at 21st Century Dentistry, because your health and safety come first. After determining whether you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry, we will go over the process and answer any questions you may have.

We utilize the most advanced patient monitoring equipment available throughout your procedure regardless of the method or level of sedation. Our monitoring consists of ECG, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and capnography.

We can discuss the specifics of your dental anxiety with you to learn how we can best provide you with a great overall experience. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or are interested in learning more, please call us today.