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Dental anxiety is common. Each year, an estimated 40 million Americans avoid dental appointments due to fear. At the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence, we welcome anxious patients because patient comfort is our top priority. Ifcomforts and amenities aren’t enough to relax you, we offer a full range of sedation dentistry services to put you at ease.
Sedation dentistry helps patients relax so they can have productive dental visits. Depending on your level of anxiety and the dental treatment you receive, you’ll be offered one of three sedation options: laughing gas, oral conscious sedation, and I.V. administered sedation. Dr. Schof has completed sedation dentistry training, has an oral conscious sedation permit from the State of Louisiana, and offers all three services.
Sedation with laughing gas involves breathing in the sedative through a small, comfortable nose mask. Laughing gas will relax you, but you’ll still be awake and able to respond to questions or directions during treatment.
This level of sedation is administered in pill form. Dr. Schof will give you a small amount of commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication to take an hour or so before your appointment.
The highest level of sedation is given intravenously, or through the vein. This sedative is administered by a nurse anesthetist. During treatment, you will be conscious and able to respond to questions and instructions.
Dr. Schof invites and welcomes anxious and fearful patients to his office because he knows that our team will make you feel comfortable, relaxed, and like part of our dental family. We don’t begin, or proceed with, dental treatment unless you are comfortable, and you will never be left alone while sedated. Your vital signs will be monitored the entire time, and we’ll be attentive to your needs throughout your entire visit.
Before we recommend a sedation option, Dr. Schof will review and discuss your medical history, dental history, and the history of your anxiety. For many patients, dental anxiety can be traced back to past negative dental experiences, even as far back as childhood. We encourage open communication to help determine if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry, and to assess the level of sedation appropriate for you.
First and foremost, sedation dentistry helps you feel more comfortable and relaxed in the dentist’s chair. You will feel disconnected from the events happening around you. If you’re sedated with oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, you may even forget most of what happens during your appointment, or fall asleep.
However, all of the methods we use at the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence will not make you unconscious. You can be roused and respond to commands during your treatment.
Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that helps if you have a low pain threshold. Local numbing, combined with sedation, can ensure that you will feel absolutely no pain or discomfort during your procedure, which will make you feel more comfortable and less nervous about your appointment.
Sedation dentistry can help with other types of fear and anxiety. Even if you don’t have dental anxiety, for example, you may be afraid of numbing needles. Sedation can help you deal with your fear and discomfort, and get through your treatment.
This depends on the method of sedation you’re interested in. Laughing gas sedation, for example, is often used for patients who are getting dental fillings or crowns. If you have serious dental anxiety, laughing gas may even be recommended for routine dental cleanings and oral exams, since this will help you stay calm and comfortable during your appointment.
Deeper methods of sedation like oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, however, are usually recommended for more invasive dental treatments, such as dental implant placement surgery or tooth extraction. This is because the side effects of these treatments last a much longer time, and it’s more expensive to be treated with oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, compared to laughing gas.
If you’re not sure whether or not sedation will be appropriate for your procedure, the best way to find out is to contact the team at the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence. Dr. Charles Schof can help you understand your options for sedation in further detail, and help you choose the treatment that’s right for your needs.
No matter what method of sedation you choose, you will feel more relaxed and you will be able to relax at the Mandeville Center for Dental Excellence. Sedation helps mitigate feelings of fear, anxiety, and panic, and can also help reduce your sensitivity to common “triggers” at the dentist’s office, such as the sound or vibration of a dental drill.
Not only that, but more deep methods of sedation like oral conscious sedation and IV sedation often may cause you to fall asleep, or to forget most or all of what happened during your procedure. That means you won’t have to sit through the procedure while fully conscious, which may be a good thing if you have serious dental anxiety.
Because of all of these reasons, sedation is ideal for patients with dental anxiety. Even if you have serious dental phobia, sedation dentistry can be used to help you overcome this issue, and get the dental care you need for a healthy mouth.
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