Dental anxiety is a condition that plagues many children and adults. It can occur on any level or severity – ranging from sweaty palms and a racing heart in the waiting room or completely paralyzed with fear at the mere thought of sitting in the dental chair. Fear of the dentist is a primary reason why patients don’t follow through on restorative dental work, address dental emergencies or keep their routine dental cleanings. In fact, according to Colgate, an estimated 9% to 15% of Americans avoid dental care due to fear or anxiety. Sedation dentistry is the answer to this unfortunate but very real problem.

Reasons for Getting Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry has revolutionized the way patients receive modern dentistry, especially if you are someone who would otherwise avoid necessary dental health care. There are many reasons for getting sedation dentistry, and very few stipulations as to why a patient couldn’t receive it.

If you can identify with the following, sedation dentistry may be right for you:

  • Mild, moderate or severe anxiety surrounding the dentist
  • Fear of pain or needles
  • Strong aversion to sights, smells (latex) or noises (dental drill) of the dental office
  • Severe gag reflex
  • Bad past dental experience
  • Difficulty sitting still (physical or mental condition)
  • Lengthy dental appointment requiring multiple procedures

Types of Sedation

At Riverwood Dental, we are pleased to offer you a variety of sedation dentistry options based on your personal needs and preferences. To help you relax in the dental chair, you may choose one of the following:

  • Inhalation Sedation (or Laughing Gas): The most common form of sedation is a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen that is breathed through a small mask or nosepiece. It instantly helps you relax and is easily controlled by our dentist. This form of sedation is safe for kids, tapers off quickly and allows you to drive yourself home from your appointment if you wish.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: This type of sedation involves taking a prescribed pill prior to your dental procedure. You can expect to remain conscious and able to communicate with us, but you’ll be kept in a relaxed and serene state of mind. With oral conscious sedation, you will need to bring someone to drive you home.

Don’t Be Shy About Sharing Your Fears and Concerns

We treat patients like members of our own family. We want you to be transparent with us and open about your fears and concerns. Please don’t hesitate to discuss your dental anxiety or physical limitations surrounding dental visits. In order to prepare for your appointment using sedation dentistry, it is best if we have this information beforehand. If anxiety or fear has kept you from giving your smile the attention it needs and deserves, please know that a relaxing and stress-free dental appointment awaits you at Riverwood Dental!