About 15% of Americans avoid seeing their dentist because they’re afraid of the dentist. These individuals would rather endure painful, infected, or damaged teeth than go to a dentist, or if they do make an appointment, they dread it for days.
Luckily, dentists like Dr. Don Alexander in Jacksonville FL offer sedation dentistry, which uses medication to help a patient feel more relaxed in the dentist’s chair. Sometimes this practice is called “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry and it is offered by thousands of dentists.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?
If you avoid dental visits due to anxiety, sedation dentistry may be right for you. Dental anxiety or dental fear may be attributed to:
- Fear of pain or gagging
- Negative past experiences
- Discomfort with sounds or smells of the dentist’s office
- Fear of not being in control
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
- Have a low pain threshold
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
- Can’t sit still in the dental chair
Types of Sedation Dentistry
You may have heard of laughing gas as a way to help patients undergo medical procedures without feeling anxious. This laughing gas is called nitrous oxide, which is a sedative mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose. While it does not put you to sleep, you will feel calm and comfortable and still alert enough to follow instructions from the dentist. The effects wear off once the mask is removed, and you should be able to drive yourself home afterwards.
Oral sedation is similar to nitrous oxide in that it relaxes you and keeps you aware of your surroundings, but you’ll also have your sense of pain reduced and will be less alert. You’ll probably feel drowsy, and you will want someone available to drive you home after oral sedation. The drug used for oral sedation is often Halcion, which is similar to Valium.
Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Alexander
We strive to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable with us. Our relaxing atmosphere combined with our professional and friendly staff, have helped hundreds of patients feel more comfortable at the dentist. But if you’re still not convinced, sedation dentistry might be for you! Contact our office online or call us at 904.372.8157 for more details and to schedule your appointment.