The professional and experienced team at Hawkins Dentistry understands that many people have fear and anxiety when it comes to visiting a dental office regardless of the treatment that is planned for the appointment. Avoiding proper and necessary dental care due to worry is detrimental to not only the health of your mouth but also the overall health of your whole body. Dr. Hawkins offers a variety of sedation options, or levels, to help alleviate your anxiety and encourage your visit with us to be as positive as possible.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to minimize the anxiety a patient feels during dental procedures. Hawkins Dentistry offers the following levels of sedation for their patients.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is the most common form of sedation used by dental practitioners. This is considered a minimal level of sedation because you are awake but relaxed. It is administered by a machine and the gas is released into your airway through a mask you wear over your nose. When under this level of sedation your anxiety about the dental procedure is lessened, and if you have a tendency to easily gag, that will also be reduced.
Other key attributes of nitrous oxide sedation are:
- The dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive
- When the mask is removed, sedation wears off quickly
- Likely to be able to drive yourself home (after a period of time)
Oral sedation can have a minimal to moderate sedation effect and is given to the patient in pill form. The number of pills taken will determine the strength of sedation. You will take the pill(s) an hour before the dental appointment, which will make you feel drowsy. You may remain awake, or some patients fall asleep but are easily awoken if and when necessary. You will require a ride to and from your appointment and you will not remember any details of the procedure.
The Benefits of Sedation
The team at Hawkins Dentistry wants to help you achieve oral health. Sedation dentistry helps many patients in three key ways:
- Decreases anxiety during dental procedures
- Reduces the gag reflex
- Enables a large amount of dental work to be performed in fewer appointments
The major value of the three benefits listed above: your mouth is receiving the care and attention that is needed and your health will be improved. Sedation can give you that comfort and peace of mind!