Patient comfort is our top priority. Many patients suffer from dental anxiety, which makes dental visits a terrifying experience. Other conditions like movement disorders can make dental care uncomfortable for the patient and dentist. We offer sedation dentistry in San Antonio, TX. Sedation ensures patients feel comfortable and relaxed while they get care.
Dental sedation is one of our general dentistry services. Sedation can help patients get routine treatments like cleanings and tooth extractions. These treatments help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Who Benefits From Sedation Dentistry?
Usually, sedation dentistry is discussed as a benefit for patients who fear the dentist. Dental anxiety occurs on a spectrum. Some patients are only being triggered by certain noises or tools. Others have such fear that they can’t even set foot in the office.
Patients with dental fear avoid regular dental care, which is essential for maintaining oral health. Sedation allows them to get regular dental care and more extensive procedures if lack of care has led to more severe dental health problems.
Sedation benefits patients who need long or multiple procedures in one sitting. It’s difficult for anyone to sit in the same position for long. With the relaxation sedation provides, dentists work quicker and more efficiently. Patients are relaxed and cooperative, and the dentist doesn’t have to worry about the patient causing distractions or setbacks.
This is also true of patients with bad gag reflexes. Essentially, a gag reflex fights the dentist while they’re trying to complete your care. This is highly uncomfortable for patients, too.
Patients with a fear of needles, dental tools, or loud noises also benefit from sedation. Our sedation methods do not require needles. Most patients may not know what’s happening during treatment, although they may respond to the dentist.
Sedation provides additional pain relief in addition to a local anesthetic. The sedation not only helps with your anxiety response, but it dulls the body’s perception of pain as well. It makes treatment better overall for both the dentist and the patient.
Sedation Dentistry in San Antonio, TX
Before moving forward with sedation, we ensure it’s safe and determine your right choice. We review your medical history and current conditions to ensure you can be sedated without any risks. Certain conditions and medications that you may be on may cause complications with the sedation we use.
For example, we will not recommend anti-anxiety pills for patients with liver or kidney problems. Patients with these problems may have trouble metabolizing medication. Sedation is also risky if you have sleep apnea. Relaxing too deeply can potentially block the airway.
We do offer multiple types of sedation. If you’re unable to receive one, other options may suit you.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
This is the mildest form of sedation. You breathe the gas and oxygen through a mask throughout the dental procedure. Under laughing gas, you will experience a relaxed, happy feeling throughout the procedure. It takes effect and fades quickly. This means you can drive yourself to and from your appointment.
Once we take the mask off, it just takes a few breaths of fresh air before you’re good to go again. Laughing gas is safe for children. We constantly monitor patients under sedation and can increase the amount of oxygen in the mask if needed to help wake patients.
Oral Conscious Sedation
We provide this sedation in the form of a pill that you take about an hour before your appointment. This is deeper sedation that lasts longer — you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
This sedation usually lasts multiple hours. While it doesn’t completely put you to sleep, you may fall asleep during the appointment because you’re so relaxed. You may not even remember parts or all of the procedure. You may also still feel sleepy when you return home after treatment.
Is Dental Sedation Safe?
Yes, sedation is safe. Our professionals are trained to provide sedation safely. We also monitor patients and can reverse sedation if needed. If you receive sedation in pill form, we can give you another pill to reduce the effects. Additionally, we can increase the amount of oxygen to help wake you under laughing gas.
Some patients may fear the side effects of sedation. Patients are more likely to experience nausea or dizziness after being under sedation for multiple hours. Taking medication and resting at home following treatment can help treat these effects. We also recommend that patients begin eating and drinking slowly after treatment. Beginning with liquids and soft foods can lessen discomfort following the procedure.
How to Treat Dental Anxiety
Treating dental fear is more than ensuring your comfort in the dental chair. Overcoming dental anxiety can help you get the dental care you need. If you develop a dental problem and do not visit the dentist, you can suffer from problems like tooth decay and gum disease. These common but highly damaging problems can break down natural teeth and gums.
Waiting to treat dental problems worsens symptoms over time. Once you finally receive treatment, you may need to pay more or have longer treatments. Visiting the dentist every six months for cleanings and exams helps prevent dental problems. Sedation is an essential dental tool to help you get treatment.
In addition to sedation, our office works with patients to meet their needs. If you have a fear of loud noises, we will recommend bringing music and headphones. Bringing a stress ball can also help distract you from treatment. If you need us to pause during treatment, we can agree on a signal for a break.
Remember, we’re not here to cause pain. We want to help improve your dental health, which can also improve your overall health. Our office encourages you to contact us before an appointment so you can communicate your needs. We can also provide a tour and introduce our team before your visit.
Get Comfortable Dental Care
Are you avoiding the dentist? Sedation dentistry in San Antonio, TX, can help you get dental treatment. Call Smile Land Family Dental at 210-939-9689 or schedule a visit online. Please get in touch with us if you have questions about dental sedation. We’re here to help.