We know that almost half of the total population has a fear or anxiety about visiting their dentist for a routine checkup. Also, we know that dental apprehension provides a massive barrier to treatment. At Ann Arbor Smiles, we can create a compassionate care guide to help you manage your anxiety while at our office and still feel in control of your appointment. With sedation, you have reduced anxiety and get the dental treatment you may have been putting off.
To determine if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have an overactive gag reflex?
- Do I avoid or have a fear of the dentist?
- Have I had a bad or traumatic experience that makes appointments difficult or unbearable?
- Do I have strong feelings about the smell or sounds in a dental office?
- Am I uncomfortable thinking about sitting in a dental chair?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you may benefit from a sedation method. Sedation can be used for routine visits, light procedures, and for longer more complex appointments. This treatment plan allows dentists to create a safe and comfortable dental experience for patients who would normally avoid seeking treatment out of fear or anxiety.
Studies estimate that almost 50% of the population avoids dental care because of fear. Sedation dentistry can lower anxiety. Any procedure can be done under sedation: deep cleanings, fillings, porcelain inlays and onlays, crowns, root canals, bridges, extractions, and implants. Most treatments can be completed in one visit. It is not atypical to complete 5 – 15 services. Patients repeatedly tell us how relaxed and comfortable they are during and after treatment.
We encourage patients to bring in their favorite relaxing music, and we provide them with memory foam cushions and warm blankets.
Nitrous oxide gas, “laughing gas,” takes the edge off for patients with slight anxiety and can also reduce an overactive gag reflex. The effects of this sedation method wear off quickly and you can drive yourself home. This is great for light procedures or routine visits.
Oral conscious sedation can help patients that seek deeper sedation. Our doctors have received extensive training, and have been using oral conscious sedation for over 20 years. Patients experience a heaviness of the eyelids and a very relaxed disposition. The vast majority experience near amnesia and a complete disconnect with time. This means we can accomplish hours of dentistry and it will seem like little time has passed. With this level of sedation, we require you to have a responsible friend or family member provide transportation to and from our office.
Intravenous sedation can help patients with severe anxiety or can assist in longer procedures to create a deep level of sedation. As with oral conscious sedation, you will need to have transportation to and from this appointment.