Sedation Dentistry: How to Deal with Dental Anxiety

Dealing with Dental Anxiety by Finding Sedation Dentistry Near You

According to a recent survey, 61% of people suffer from dental fear due to concerns about pain, the smell of chemicals, and even the sound of the drill. For these people, a trip to the dentist can come with high anxiety that leads to gagging problems or discomfort, and may discourage them from seeking treatment.

Fortunately, there is a more gentle approach to dentistry that can help relieve dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry techniques can help many patients overcome anxiety, discomfort, and pain associated with dental procedures.

The dentists at DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor are trained in a number of sedation dentistry techniques, including single dose sedation and incremental sedation. Our Ann Arbor dental practice also works with an experienced anesthesiologist to provide IV sedation for those who qualify. We pride ourselves on offering no-pressure consultations to assess your dental health and medical history to determine the best type of sedation for your unique needs — your health and comfort is our number one priority.

In our consultations we collaborate closely with our patients and share information to help them feel more informed and limit dental anxiety. We also do more dental work in-house instead of referring out, which can help limit the number of appointments a patient needs.

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Note: Many people may be experiencing heightened dental anxiety due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic. At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we are taking a number of additional health and social distancing precautions to ensure the continued safety of our staff and patients.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry “uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures.” It can range from minimal sedation (where you are “awake but relaxed”) to mild and deep sedation, where you are still able to participate in the appointment as needed (source).  With sedation dentistry, most people only recall the first 5-10 minutes of the appointment.

Sedation techniques include nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and oral sedation. The type of sedation you receive will depend on a number of factors, including your level of anxiety, the dental procedure(s) you’ll be undergoing, and what type of sedation is most appropriate for your health. Your dentist can help explain your options and decide what will be most effective and safe for your unique situation.

At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we use oral sedation techniques to reduce dental anxiety. These techniques keep patients conscious but relaxed, and may limit recall of the dental procedure. Oral sedation is a common method to help patients receive the dental care they need and desire.  Through sedation we have seen many patients overcome their anxieties becoming empowered to manage their fears. Many other patients utilize sedation dentistry to get all their work done in one sitting, as a time saver.  The method used is customizable to each person’s needs and desires.

What oral sedation techniques are available?

There are a number of oral sedation techniques available, including single dose sedation and incremental sedation. Our dentists have advanced training in oral sedation techniques from the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and will make sure you understand all your options to make your experience as comfortable as possible. 

Single Dose Sedation

Single dose sedation is a minimum sedation protocol using one dose of oral sedative.

Incremental Sedation

Incremental sedation is “the administration of small doses of an oral sedative at appropriate intervals to achieve and maintain sedation.” This is done to “keep the patient at a ‘steady state’ of sedation,” and “allows for better control of depth and length of sedation while maintaining the lowest total dose of a medication.”

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Although all procedures carry some risk, sedation is considered safe when administered properly by a qualified dentist. According to the American Dental Association, “The administration of local anesthesia, sedation and general anesthesia is an integral part of dental practice. The American Dental Association is committed to the safe and effective use of these modalities by appropriately educated and trained dentists.”

Sedation is not recommended for children age 12 and under.

How much does sedation dentistry cost?

The cost of sedation dentistry varies depending on the type of sedation, who is administering it, and your dental insurance.

At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we pride ourselves in clearly communicating your procedures and choices with no-pressure consultations and transparent payment options. 

How can I limit my dental anxiety?

You can use several different strategies to limit dental anxiety. Many patients report that our sharing of information and collaboration with them regarding their dental goals helps them feel better about the procedure. Talking with your dentist about the procedure(s) and feeling included in the process can help you feel more informed and approach your appointment with more confidence.

Consolidating dental procedures into as few appointments as possible can also be helpful. At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we do more dental work in-house, rather than referring to specialists. This is useful in limiting the number of dental appointments you will need to attend. 

Getting more procedures done at once will help you avoid multiple visits to the dental office and reduce corresponding spikes in dental anxiety. This can be combined with sedation dentistry to drastically reduce anxiety levels. These strategies can result in a huge success for the patient when all applied thoughtfully.

Sedation Dentistry Near You

Patients looking for sedation dentistry options near them can ask their dentist about their qualifications and training related to sedation. Some organizations, like the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, provide additional training to dentists interested in using sedation dentistry techniques.

Sedation Dentistry in Ann Arbor

DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor uses a number of sedation dentistry techniques to help patients overcome their dental anxiety. We are conveniently located at 3100 E. Eisenhower Parkway with easy access to surrounding Washtenaw County and the larger Southeast Michigan area. Contact us today to find sedation dentistry options near you.

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