Visiting the dentist can invoke fear and anxiety to many Americans; it's often noted as a common phobia alongside clowns or public speaking.
At Garden Springs Dental, our goal is to fight the myth of dentistry gone wrong. We work hard to make each patient feel calm and comfortable during each visit, and we know that every patient has different levels of anxiety or stress. We can appreciate that for some people, being in the dentist's chair can be a vulnerable position, which is why it's essential to establish a rapport and trusting relationship so that patients can relax and allow their dentist to do their job without any hindrance.
The more comfortable we make you, the easier it is for you to receive the dental treatments you need, and the more likely you will show up to your regular dental cleanings. It's extremely important that our patients know that we answer all questions and will not feel satisfied until they understand fully what their treatment entails, along with alternative treatments. For some individuals, not knowing what is going to happen to them is a big part of their anxiety.
Sedation dentistry at our Lexington, KY dental office involves using different types of conscious sedatives to help you relax:
- Inhalation sedation
- Oral sedation
- IV sedation
Patients will be able to hear, see, and react to stimuli around them, but they will feel disconnected and less anxious or pain. They will never have to worry about pain during the procedure because our dentists completely numb the area before starting any procedure.
If you have dental fear or concerns, let us know, and we can work with you through your appointment. Our goal is that you never feel stress or anxiety, which will inspire better oral health and frequent dental visits.
- What Is Dental Anxiety?
- Why You Shouldn't Avoid the Dentist
- Sedation Dentistry
- Inhalation Sedation
- Oral Conscious Sedation
- IV Sedation
- Are You Interested in Sedation Dentistry?
What Is Dental Anxiety?
It's not unusual or uncommon to feel a twinge of anxiety before any dental procedure. Lexington patients who suffer from dental fear may neglect dental check-ups and avoid their dentists, which puts them at a severe disadvantage since we cannot check their oral health and treat issues before they become dental emergencies. Common dental problems that your dental professional can spot and heal include:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Severe tooth pain
- Oral health issues
Dental anxiety takes the form of different physical reactions, including:
- Fast heartbeat
- Unable to sleep the night before the dental visit
We have many options for treating dental anxiety, including sedation. Dr. Chris Davis, Dr. Gregory Edens, Jr., and Dr. Austin Jones prioritize the comfort and security of every patient, so we work with everyone through their anxiety. When you stop going to the dentist because of fear, you can compromise your oral and overall health.
Why You Shouldn't Avoid the Dentist
Dental anxiety can be a debilitating condition that separates patients from good oral health and regular dental visits. While we highly recommend that patients brush and floss their teeth regularly, they can never truly remove all plaque that builds up. Only consistent dental cleanings every six months can truly eliminate harmful bacteria and particles that quickly lead to decay, infection, or tooth loss. When your oral health begins to deteriorate, you may not realize until it's too late.
Gum disease, for example, is often asymptotic except for a few mild signs. Once you start to feel tooth pain, it's likely that extensive damage has already occurred.
Avoiding the dentist puts you in a negative feedback loop where you are stuck seeing the dentist on your worse day—during a dental emergency. If you're in pain or need to have a tooth removed or root canal procedure, you create the very scenario you fear, increasing your anxiety.
By taking safe and gentle steps with your trusted dentist, you can overcome your anxiety and avoid scary dental situations as much as possible. Of course, some dental emergencies cannot be prevented, like accidents or injuries, but the vast majority of emergencies can be avoided.
By visiting Garden Springs Dental consistently, you can establish a relationship with your dentist and feel comfortable during your treatments.
Sedation dentistry allows us to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable before they undergo dental procedures. When patients tense up, it can make it challenging for our dentists to thoroughly clean and examine your teeth and gums. Our Lexington patients are typically awake throughout the process unless they are under general anesthesia.
Levels of sedation are:
- Minimal sedation—Awake but comfortable and relaxed. Your general dentist will use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to allow patients to feel pleasantly detached. We control the level of nitrous oxide you inhale, and the gas quickly wears off. Patients can drive home
- Moderate sedation—Awake but drowsy, patients can fall asleep during the procedure. Known as oral sedation, patients take a pill an hour before the procedure. Patients will need a driver to get home.
- Deep sedation—Awake but very tired, patients may not awake easily after a procedure, and will need a ride home. General anesthesia—Completely unconscious, patients need a ride back home.
Your Lexington dentist will always administer a local anesthetic to the site so that patients do not feel anything.
Better known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide allows patients to remain awake and aware but completely relaxed and dreamy. Despite what the name implies, patients will not laugh uncontrollably, which is probably great for dental professionals.
Instead, you can sit back and breathe through the small cover over your nose. Before you know it, the procedure is complete, and you're hardly aware that time has passed. Being relaxed allows us to clean, polish, and finish procedures quickly and without obstacles. You're out of the dentist's chair in no time and back to your life!
Nitrous oxide has no lingering effect, and you'll be able to drive immediately after your dental appointment.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Your dentist may recommend oral sedation before a dental procedure. Patients typically remain awake throughout the process but will feel disconnected.
Your general dentist will prescribe a medication that you can take an hour before your appointment. Once the procedure starts, you should feel calm and maybe a little drowsy. Patients often fall asleep during the procedure, but they easily wake up with a gentle touch. They may need a driver to drive them home after the process.
Your dentist can administer an anti-anxiety drug intravenously, allowing you to relax and feel peaceful. Patients can still be responsive to questions posed by their dentist, but the procedure will seem like a dream. Patients will need a ride home after the procedure.
At Garden Springs Dental, we value our patient's comfort and safety and ensure that they have a reliable driver before they leave.
Are You Interested in Sedation Dentistry?
Maintaining your oral health is part of proper preventive treatment. Through regular dental cleanings and exams, along with proper at-home brushing and flossing, patients can avoid many preventable dental emergencies. At Garden Springs Dental, we understand how nerve-wracking certain fears can be, so we're here to help.
Sedation dentistry can make a difference in your oral health treatment and anxiety towards the dentist. If you would like to learn more, give our dental office a call.