Fear. Anxiety. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference. Fear tends to be a short-lived phenomenon that disappears once the threat or danger passes. Anxiety, however, is more of an internal emotional response, one learned from either personal negative experiences or second hand via the recounts of others. Both of these ignite your sympathetic nervous system, the "Fight or Flight" control center, once the threat presents or anticipation becomes overwhelming. Presto. You feel like a mess. You become mad at yourself for the way you are feeling and the inability to control it. Do any of these sound familiar: sweaty hands, racing heart, feeling as if you'll hyperventilate, profuse perspiration, jitters, canceling appointments or never scheduling them because it is easier to suffer with the pain than face the anxiety. Whether the threat is real (fear) or perceived or anticipated (anxiety) does not make a difference, you will soon learn that we will treat you with the same compassion and care.
If you're still with me, you identify with these descriptions and are looking for someone who will give your fears and anxieties the same diagnostic attention as your cavities. Exhale, relax, you have come to the right place. Although you are reading this to learn more about sedation dentistry, we really do want to be your "light at the end of the tunnel" of dental anxiety. You see, here at 21st Century Dental, we believe in treating you first, your mouth second.
Nitrous Oxide or "Laughing Gas" is one of the safest forms of sedation available and can take the anxiety out of most routine dental procedures to include cleanings. Non-allergenic and non-irritating, most feel the onset effects within minutes and these effects are completely reversed within about 5 minutes of gas termination. This complete reversal allows you to safely drive home or go to work right after your appointment!
Almost anyone can have nitrous oxide treatment. We can vary the depth of sedation depending on your level of anxiety. The gas also tends to reduce gag reflexes and saliva flow. Most importantly, you will bask in a feeling of relaxation as we care for you.
The gas is administered through a simple rubber hood that rests on your nose providing a feeling of numbness, security, and warmth. If you are known to be claustrophobic, this might not be the choice for you. At or near the end of your treatment, we will provide you with 100% oxygen so you will feel completely normal within 5-10 minutes. At that point, you are 100% ready to independently carry on your life.
Oral Sedation or Sleep Dentistry utilizes the oldest of all routes of drug administration, the mouth. Safe, economical, and convenient, oral sedation when properly used can deliver a deeper relaxation state than nitrous and provide some amnesic effects. If you suffer more from the thought of coming in than actually being here, this may be the choice for you. After an initial consultation to determine if you need anxiety relief or just need to complete extensive treatment in one visit, we will take baseline vital signs and write a prescription. Halcion (Triazolam) will be taken about an hour before your dental appointment, so you will be relaxed before we start. Although awake, you will feel relaxed and drowsy. During your treatment, we will monitor your pulse, oxygen saturation rate, and your blood pressure with state of the art patient monitors. We never leave your side. The same medication we use for sedation dentistry can also be given to you the night before to help you sleep. So, don't let anxiety prevent you from having the confident smile or healthy mouth you have always wanted. Take the time to come in and meet us so we can decide together what is best for you. If you would like a first appointment to simply talk about your anxieties and fears, we will do that and no dental exam would be done.