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Genuinely Relax with Sedation Dentistry in Richardson

Dental phobia is a real and common problem among children and adults alike, leading far too many patients to skip regular checkups entirely and develop serious oral damage and decay as a result. At Canyon Creek Family Dentistry of Richardson, helping you feel truly at ease inside our practice is a must for our dentists and team members. If our caring and friendly approach is not enough, though, sedation dentistry is also available to help soothe frazzled nerves and create a comfortable atmosphere. Please contact our Richardson office today if you’re interested in scheduling a visit.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Female patient relaxing in dental chair with oral conscious sedation in Richardson, TX

Have you ever wished that you could take a pill to deal with your dental fears? With oral conscious sedation, you can essentially do just that. All you need to do is take the medication we prescribe before your treatment begins, and you’ll be able to stay in a state of deep relaxation throughout your appointment. We may suggest oral conscious sedation if we determine that nitrous oxide isn’t enough to keep your dental fears under control.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Close-up of relaxed female patient under effects of oral conscious sedation in Richardson, TX

There are no needles or face masks involved with oral conscious sedation. All you need to do is take a pill before your appointment time. The type of medication used can vary from case to case, but some common examples include Halcion, Ativan, and Valium. You should start to feel the effects about 15 minutes after taking the sedative. This form of sedation can be a very effective solution for nervous or anxious patients as well as those with strong gag reflexes.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work? 

Female dental patient in chair relaxing with eyes closed

Oral conscious sedation will help you stay calm while you’re in the dental chair. You’ll remain awake, so you’ll be able to follow any directions we might give you. Some people end up dozing off while under the effects of the sedative, but waking them up is typically as simple as giving them a gentle shake.

Oral conscious sedation can keep you in a relaxed state for several hours. Until it wears off completely, you’ll need to have someone else drive for you. Make arrangements beforehand to have a reliable friend or family member at your appointment so that they can take you home once your treatment is complete.

Once the effects of oral conscious sedation have worn off, you may find that you don’t remember what happened during your appointment. This may be seen as a benefit by certain patients.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Female dental patient in pink shirt giving thumbs up

The majority of adults can safely have oral conscious sedation performed. It may be a good choice for you if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You are anxious or afraid at the thought of undergoing dental work.
  • You are planning on having more than one treatment performed at a single visit.
  • You are undergoing an especially lengthy procedure.
  • You have a strong gag reflex that has gotten in the way of dental treatment in the past.
  • You have a hard time sitting still or keeping your mouth open.

Before moving forward with oral conscious sedation, we’ll need to review your overall health history. If you are currently pregnant, suffer from certain medical conditions, or have allergies to specific sedatives, then oral conscious sedation may not be the best choice for you. Rest assured that at our practice, your smile will always be in the hands of a team that truly cares about your comfort and safety.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Woman in dental chair with nitrous oxide dental sedation mask

You may know nitrous oxide by its nickname, “laughing gas.” Although it can cause feelings of euphoria, it’s used in dentistry because of its anxiety-relieving effects. In fact, many patients use it even during their routine checkups and cleanings to stay calm and comfortable throughout their time in the treatment chair! If you want to learn more about this mild but effective sedative, then keep reading.

Who is a Good Candidate for Nitrous Oxide?

Dental assistant smiling while reviewing information with patient

Since nitrous oxide is a relatively mild sedative, it can be safely used on adults and children alike. Most often, it’s recommended for patients who struggle with dental sensitivity, have a fear of needles, have a strong gag reflex, or have dental-related anxiety. So, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us if you think that nitrous oxide is the solution you’ve been looking for! From there, we can determine if you’re a candidate by reviewing your medical history, learning about your allergies, and the like.

How Does Nitrous Oxide Work?

Dental assistant placing nasal mask over patient's nose

After you settle into the treatment chair, a team member will fit you for a nasal mask. Then, they will start the flow of nitrous oxide, which is both odorless and colorless. After a few minutes of breathing it in, you should feel happier, more comfortable, and utterly relaxed. You won’t be asleep either, meaning the lines of communication will be open the whole time. For example, if the effects are too strong or too weak, you can let us know and we will adjust the dosage.

Aftercare for Nitrous Oxide

Man smiling at dentist while sitting in treatment chair

One of the biggest benefits of choosing nitrous oxide is that a patient can recover from its effects within minutes once the mask is removed. That means you can drive yourself home and get back to school/work without any significant downtime or lingering drowsiness! Of course, you may still have some post-op instructions depending on the treatment you received. Most often, it boils down to keeping your mouth clean and not eating anything until the numbing agent has worn off.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

woman helped by sedation dentist in Richardson

If you suffer from dental anxiety, a sedation dentist in Richardson may be the answer you’re looking for! However, it pays to be well informed. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we are asked about sedation dentistry. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t worry! Contact our team here at the office of Dr. Afshin Azmoodeh and we will be happy to answer your questions and schedule an appointment when you’re ready.

Can Dental Sedation Make Me Sick?

It is quite rare to feel nauseous with nitrous oxide sedation. Because oral conscious sedation is stronger than nitrous oxide, there is a slightly higher risk of nausea. Just to be safe, your dentist will likely recommend that you don’t eat for a few hours before your procedure. If you have trouble skipping meals, you may want to schedule your appointment in the early morning. If you are prone to feeling nauseous, simply let your dentist know and they can adjust accordingly.

What Are the Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry?

Even though sedation dentistry in Richardson is safe for most patients, it can still present risks for some people. Those with obstructive sleep apnea or who are taking certain medications might be more likely to experience complications with sedation. Also, keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to sedatives and the medications that are used during a dental procedure. It’s completely normal to experience a few side effects after being sedated, such as nausea, headache, and grogginess. They may last for several hours following the procedure.

Is Sedation Dentistry Covered by Insurance? 

Since sedation dentistry is considered a “luxury,” it’s typically not covered by dental insurance providers. Of course, there are some exceptions. If the procedure is especially complex or you have a disability that makes it impossible to receive the necessary care you need without it, then coverage may be available. If you aren’t familiar with your benefits, that’s okay. Our team would be more than happy to help you navigate your plan and understand the cost completely.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry? 

If you experience dread or severe anxiety at the idea of going to the dentist’s office, you might benefit from sedation dentistry. Putting off oral care due to fear will only allow minor issues to worsen and become serious problems. You might also be a good candidate if you have low pain tolerance, a sensitive gag reflex, or difficulties sitting still or holding your mouth open for prolonged periods. If you’d like to get extensive dental work done in one visit, dental sedation can make for a more comfortable experience. Your dentist will go over your medical history and list of medications beforehand to find out if sedation is right for you.

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