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I'm Terrified of Going to the Dentist: Can Sedation Dentistry Help?

May 02, 2024
I'm Terrified of Going to the Dentist: Can Sedation Dentistry Help?
Most people don’t look forward to going to the dentist. But if your anxiety is keeping you from getting the oral health care you need, it’s time to do something about it. Learn how sedation dentistry can ease your nerves safely and effectively.

Do you break into a cold sweat at the mere thought of visiting the dentist? Does the sound of the dental drill send shivers down your spine? If your answer is yes, you're not alone.

Dental anxiety is a real thing, and it affects about 36% of American adults. It can keep you from getting the oral health care you need — but there's a solution that might make your next dental visit a breeze: sedation dentistry.

Aditi Saxena, DDS, Deepal Patel, DMD, and our team at Austin Advanced Dentistry offer sedation dentistry in Austin, Texas, to help ease anxiety and make you more comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Here’s how it could help you.

Understanding sedation dentistry

There are three main options for sedation dentistry: relative analgesia, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Relative analgesia involves breathing in a light mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen, often nicknamed "laughing gas." Oral sedation involves taking a prescription sedative pill before your procedure, and IV sedation infuses medication into your bloodstream.

Each method has its benefits. Laughing gas is the lightest form of dental sedation, while oral and IV options have stronger effects — but don't let the name fool you. Nitrous oxide is a powerful tool for managing dental anxiety, and it might just be the key to overcoming your dental fears.

How nitrous oxide can help your dental anxiety 

Nitrous oxide is a colorless and odorless gas. It's mixed with oxygen for dental procedures, and you breathe it in through a mask placed over your nose. Nitrous oxide makes you feel light-headed and euphoric, hence the nickname "laughing gas."

One of the biggest benefits of nitrous oxide for dental anxiety is its fast-acting nature. Other sedation methods take time to kick in, but nitrous oxide works almost instantly. Within just a few minutes of inhaling the gas, you'll feel its calming effects wash over you so you can relax in the dental chair.

You remain awake and alert, but breathing in nitrous oxide helps you let go of your anxiety. It's highly adjustable, and our team can easily control your level of sedation during your procedure to ensure you remain comfortable. Whether you need a little bit of a deeper level of sedation, we can adjust your nitrous oxide dosage to meet your specific needs.

The best part about nitrous oxide is its safety profile. It's a tried and tested method that's been used safely in dentistry for decades. Nitrous oxide sedation is non-invasive, non-allergenic, and has minimal side effects, so it can be a good option for patients of all ages.

Plus, it's quickly eliminated from your body once your mask is removed. That means you'll be able to drive home after your appointment and resume your normal activities without any lingering effects.

So, if you're one of the millions of people living with dental anxiety, sedation dentistry is worth a try. With options like nitrous oxide, you can finally say goodbye to your dental fears and hello to a healthier, happier smile.

Learn more about your dental sedation options with an appointment at Austin Advanced Dentistry. Call us at 512-886-6734 or request an appointment online now.

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