It is very common to have anxiety surrounding dental care. It is estimated that about one third of the population avoids going to the dentist because of fear. If you feel that you are avoiding dental appointments because of fear or anxiety there are options in sedation dentistry that can help you. You may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry if you have:
- Bad experiences with dentistry in the past
- Fear of dental procedures
- Difficulty becoming numb
- Gag reflex issues
- Anxiety about shots and needles
- Very sensitive teeth
- A lot of dental work that needs to be completed
- Complex dental issues
- Time limitations for dental procedures
Our team at Vitelli Comprehensive Dentistry is happy to help you overcome your dental anxiety in Germantown, Maryland, and we offer two options for sedation: anxiolysis and nitrous oxide.
Anxiolysis, also called oral conscious sedation, is a mild yet effective level of sedation. The goal of anxiolysis is to create a comfortable, relaxed and safe environment for our patients so they will be able to have necessary dental treatment and gain confidence in their ability to have dentistry done. At the end of an anxiolysis sedation appointment, patients often feel that the appointment went very quickly and have little memory of the dental procedures that were accomplished.
Anxiolysis is attained by administering a single dose of a medication about an hour prior to the procedure. Nitrous oxide may also be used during the appointment. The patient is monitored closely, as the medication will relax them during the procedure. The patient will need to have a companion to bring them to the appointment and take them home afterwards. We also recommend that the patient be looked after for the remainder of the day, since the medications take several hours to wear off completely. Please call us for a consultation to discuss the specifics of the process and how we can help you.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide produces the lightest amount of sedation, but it is still effective enough to be the most common form of sedation that we currently provide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that a patient breathes through a small mask that only covers their nose. It is administered with oxygen and is extremely safe. It will add about 30 minutes to the total treatment time, but most patients report that procedures feel that they take less time when nitrous oxide is used.
Nitrous oxide is a good option for patients who have a strong gag reflex and will relax patients who have dental anxiety. One great feature of sedation with nitrous oxide is that it does not have any lasting effects and patients can drive to and from appointments.
Please call our office at 301-972-1400 and schedule an appointment to learn more about these options and how our caring dentist, Dr. Adam Vitelli, and team can help you achieve a healthy and attractive smile once again.