At Miami Valley Smiles, we know there are plenty of reasons folks avoid the dentist. It can be an uncomfortable experience for many, but for others it can be a source of anxiety and legitimate fear that prevents them from seeking the care they need. This leads to a vicious cycle of dental problems, avoiding the dentist, and small problems that progress into serious ones that require more extensive treatment and more time in the chair. We want to help you get the care you need comfortably today so you don’t have to spend much time with us down the road. We have sedation options available to help take the edge off of any appointment.
Sedation dentistry involves the use of a sedative before or during a dental appointment to help you relax in the chair and make your treatment as comfortable as possible. Sedation has been around as long as dentistry itself and is a safe and effective way to help fearful or anxious patients (or anyone who has trouble receiving care, whatever the reason) get the care they need.
There are several types of sedation that dentists use, including N2O (laughing gas), oral sedation, and IV sedation. At Miami Valley Smiles, we use both N2O and IV sedation, and Dr. Lance and our team are highly skilled in administering and monitoring patients with sedation. The type of sedation we use will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
Sedation is not the same as general anesthesia. General anesthesia is designed to block pain, to put you to sleep or “all the way under” and requires assisted breathing. Sedation is not designed to knock you out, but to put you in a comfortable, dream-like state. You will be easily awakened and able to respond to the doctor, and you are able to breathe on your own. Sedation does produce amnesic effects so the details of your appointment will be fuzzy if you remember anything at all, and your appointment will be over before you know it!
There are many reasons people avoid the dentist that make them great candidates for sedation, including:
N2O is the lightest and most common form of sedation – you’ve probably already had it at some point in your life. It is administered through a small face mask at the start of your dental appointment to help you relax. The effects wear off quickly and you should be able to drive yourself home safely. N2O is great for patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety and for more regular maintenance appointments.
IV sedation is much heavier than N2O and is generally used for patients with moderate to severe dental anxiety or for patients receiving extensive treatments. IV sedation is administered intravenously at the start of your appointment, and you should have someone to drive you home as the effects will take several hours to wear off. If you are a fearful patient in need of more extensive dental work, we can use IV sedation to get a lot of work done while you are comfortable in a single visit.
If you have any questions about sedation or would like to schedule an appointment with your Miami Valley sedation dentist, Dr. Lance at Miami Valley Smiles, give us a call today at (513) 398-0038 or request an appointment online below! We look forward to smiling with you.
We’d love to show you why our care is something to smile about.