No one is completely fearless. There is always something that scares a person – snakes, spiders, heights, closed-in spaces, elevators, or something else entirely. Sadly, one of the most common fears is fear of the dentist. Some people are so dental-phobic that they actually neglect their dental health to the point where they end up needing a lot of expensive treatment to make things right. Or worse, they end up losing their teeth.
One thing we know at Martin Dentistry is that there is no point in telling nervous patients that there is nothing to fear. They already know that. But knowing does not help much when they are actually in the dentist chair. What does help though, is sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
You have probably heard of sedation dentistry, but you may be under the misapprehension that it means you will be asleep throughout your treatment. This is actually not true. You will be very, very relaxed, but definitely not asleep.
One type of sedation dentistry is oral sedation. It is simply a pill that you take before your treatment so that you will be less nervous.
We also use intravenous (IV) sedation. This is a way of delivering a sedative into your bloodstream, and yes, it does involve a needle, so if you are completely needle-phobic, you might prefer oral sedation. However, if your fear of needles in the dentist office is more due to discomfort at the idea of having a pointed object driven into your gums or palate, IV sedation could be a great option.
With either type of therapeutic sedation, you will be awake but relaxed. With oral sedation, you will probably remember your treatment, but with IV sedation, you will probably remember very little, if you remember anything at all. This is because IV sedation delivers a very deep level of relaxation. Either way, you will not be troubled by what the dentist is doing.
Do I Still Need a Local Anesthetic?
Yes, you do. Although therapeutic sedation will relax you to the point where you are no longer fearful, it does not relieve pain. However, we will not numb you up until the sedation has taken effect and you tell us that it is all right to proceed.
Sedation dentistry has a long history of helping apprehensive dental patients. It has been in use in America for more than 50 years and it makes even the most complex procedures far easier on the patient. Your dentist will be able to work on you for longer because you will be totally comfortable. You could, for instance, have all of your wisdom teeth extracted in a single visit instead of having to come back because the time in the chair stresses you to the point where you cannot have them all done at once.
There is just one downside to dental sedation – whether you have oral or IV sedation, you will not be able to drive yourself home. You will either need to take a taxi, or recruit a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment. Experience the many benefits of sedation dentistry.
If the idea of a session in the dentist chair makes you shudder and you think you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry, call us at Martin Dentistry. We can tell you more about the benefits of sedation dentistry and book an appointment for you with Dr. Doug or Dr. Dax. Call us at 209-951-4251, or use the form on our Contact Us page to arrange an appointment. Our office is located at 1310 East Swain Road, Suite 2, Stockton, CA 95210. Remember to bring someone with you to drive you home before your sedation dentistry treatments. For any unanswered questions you might have, visit our FAQs or Facts pages.