Dental Anxiety & Your Oral Health
Dental anxiety can play a significant role in patients’ willingness and ability to visit the dentist and get the care they need.
If you feel nervous about visiting the dentist, you may put off your regular maintenance appointments, or put off getting the treatment your need when you have a dental health problem.
Over time, this can have a cumulative negative effect on your overall dental health and can result in the need for more frequent, invasive dental procedures down the road.
The sooner you can overcome, or at least manage, your anxiety about going to the dentist, the fewer appointments and procedures you'll require in the long run. Your dentist can assist you in reducing anxiety and achieving your dental health objectives.
How Dental Sedation Helps
At Bay Street Dental Associates, our dentists offer sedation for a variety of dental procedures. Dental sedation can help you feel more relaxed and less nervous before and during your dental appointment.
There are two main types of sedation for dentistry that are commonly used in dental offices to reduce stress and anxiety as much as possible:
Oral sedation is typically available in pill or liquid form and can be administered anywhere from 24 hours to one hour before a dental appointment, depending on your needs and level of anxiety.
One advantage of oral sedation is that you can administer the medication yourself.
Oral sedation will not knock you out, but it will make you feel drowsy and calm. You might even fall asleep during your appointment. During the procedure, you will be able to communicate with your dentist.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide (more commonly known as laughing gas) sedation is a gas that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose.
You will not be put to sleep by nitrous oxide. Throughout the procedure, you will be aware and able to respond to your dentist's comments or questions.
Nitrous oxide typically induces a pleasant sense of calm and good humour, and one of its primary advantages is that it wears off almost immediately after the mask is removed.
Preparing for Sedation
Your dentist will give you specific instructions, based on your needs, on how to prepare for your dental sedation appointment, and what to do afterward.
We advise patients to have a friend or family member drive them to and from the appointment because driving is not advised until after the effects of the sedation have worn off.