Sedation dentistry brings low-stress treatment and more to patients in Greensboro, NC
An estimated 15 percent of our population suffers from dental anxiety, ranging from dull dread to gripping fear of being in the chair. Sedation dentistry helps those individuals overcome their apprehension to get necessary dental treatment or enhance their smiles with cosmetic services. Yet the other 85 percent may also find advantages in dental sedation. Greensboro, NC dentist, Dr. Steven Hatcher, explains.
What to expect
If you are a person who doesn’t often take medicine, or if you have never experienced dental sedation, the concept may sound a bit unsettling. However, be assured that the medications used at Steven L. Hatcher, DDS, PA are very safe. They are approved by the FDA, prescribed only after a thorough review of your medical history, and administered by a team with focused training in sedation. Your vital signs and overall wellbeing are monitored during treatment, and you are not left alone. While an adverse reaction to controlled sedation is rare, our doctors have the broad-based medical background to respond to an urgent situation promptly and effectively.
Nitrous oxide is a pleasantly scented gas mixed with oxygen. Since you inhale it through a nose mask, the drug enters your bloodstream quickly, producing a pleasurable emotional state within a few minutes. Some patients say the feel slightly light-headed for a moment, followed by light tingling or warmth in the limbs. This sensation quickly gives way to a feeling of euphoria. You remain conscious but very happy, hence the nickname “laughing gas.” The effect wears off quickly when the flow of gas is halted, and there is no residual grogginess, so you can drive and return to work.
Nitrous oxide is a good choice for people with unusually sensitive teeth, those who don’t numb easily, or someone who fears numbing injections. In our qualified care, nitrous oxide is safe for children, often helping to build an anxiety-free foundation for a healthy attitude toward dental care.
Oral conscious sedation is a drug in the valium family, taken in pill form by mouth before your appointment. It leaves you calm and unconcerned, but conscious, so you can communicate with the dental team. Some people feel so relaxed they fall asleep. It takes a few hours for wooziness to wear off, so this form of dental sedation requires that you have someone drive you home. You can expect to doze for a while and feel refreshed the next day, with little recollection of treatment.
IV sedation induces a little deeper state of relaxation, but not unconsciousness (so no breathing tube is needed). It is administered into a vein, which allows the dentist to precisely control the level of sedation. This makes it ideal to ensure your comfort for lengthy or more invasive procedures. There is again some grogginess as you come out of IV sedation, and an amnesic effect.
Unexpected benefits of sedation dentistry in Greensboro, NC
Now that you know there is nothing to fear from dental sedation, and that it helps you prevail over anxiety, it time to consider additional benefits of low-stress dentistry:
- When your mind relaxes, your body follows suit. You stop unconsciously “fighting” the dentist by clenching or tensing. At the conclusion of treatment, you are much less likely to have a stiff jaw, neck, or back.
- Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress. Elevated cortisol inhibits the ability of your immune system to heal wounds because it interferes with cytokines that fight inflammation, trauma, and infection. By reducing anxiety levels, dental sedation helps you heal faster, and reduces risk of post-procedure complications.
- It is convenient. If you need an extensive treatment or multiple procedures, the doctor may be able to complete all work in one day with sedation. That reduces travel and time away from your job.
- It is scientifically proven that a healthy mouth contributes to whole-body wellness. For example, if sedation helps you get gum disease under control, you are also lowering your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other serious systemic illnesses. By keeping your teeth in good condition, you can eat a nutritious diet with whole grains, fresh produce, and lean proteins.
Sedation dentistry is a good way to turn fear of dental treatment into a welcomed experience that improves quality of life. Schedule a visit with Dr. Hatcher to find out how hassle-free dental treatment can be. The number in Greensboro, NC is (336) 383-1482 .