Too many people in Saskatoon avoid going to the dentist because they experience significant dental anxiety or phobia. Dental anxiety and fear are common and normal. Common and normal as they are, though, dental anxiety and fear can also be very harmful when they impose a barrier to getting the dental treatment or care you need. The entire team at Brighton Dental is committed to helping patients overcome their fear and anxiety.
We do that in several ways:
● Creating a pleasant, welcoming and comfortable environment
● Making sure you have a full opportunity to discuss any concerns with your dentist and to get answers to all your questions
● Checking in with you frequently during treatment to see how you’re doing
● Establishing a signal that you can give to your dentist or hygienist when you need a break
● Incorporating breaks during your treatment whenever possible.
We understand that many people experience dental anxiety and fear so significant that even those strategies are not completely effective. To ensure people with significant anxiety and fear get the care they need, we also offer a full suite of sedation dentistry options.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry in Saskatoon involves the use of sedative drugs to help you to relax in anticipation of and during dental treatment. Your dental clinic in Saskatoon will offer sedation dentistry in several different ways: nitrous oxide or laughing gas; oral sedation through a pill taken in advance of your appointment or before treatment; intravenous sedation through and IV placed in your arm; and even general anesthesia during which you’ll be completely unconscious.
All four of those techniques of sedation dentistry can be tailored precisely to meet your specific needs. The goal is to offer a menu of sedative effects that you can choose from so that you can achieve the level of relaxation you need to receive the care and treatment you deserve. The staff at a dental clinic near you can help you to achieve three different levels of sedation.
Mild anxiety can be overcome by inhaling nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, through a nose apparatus. Nitrous oxide takes effect within 30 seconds and also wears off quickly when your treatment is finished. While receiving dental treatment with nitrous oxide, you’ll remain completely conscious.
Sometimes called “conscious sedation,” oral sedation is a deeper level of relaxation achieved by taking a prescribed sedative by tablet the night before a procedure or in the morning before the procedure. As the phrase “conscious sedation” implies, you’ll remain conscious and awake, but significantly relaxed. Oral sedation is appropriate for people with more significant levels of anxiety or fear, or who are undergoing longer or more complex treatment. The effects take longer to wear off than the effects of nitrous oxide, so you’ll still feel sleepy when treatment is completed. By the next day, there’ll be no lingering effect.
Intravenous (IV) sedation places you in a “twilight” state of consciousness. You’ll remain conscious but not fully aware of your surroundings. IV sedation is administered through an IV inserted into your arm, and your vital signs and breathing will be monitored carefully throughout treatment. People who receive IV sedation often do not remember undergoing treatment after waking up.
General anesthesia is sometimes described under the heading “Intravenous sedation.” Unlike IV sedation described above, though, general anesthesia renders patients totally unconscious. It is not commonly used during dental treatment, but may be appropriate for the most complex and lengthy forms of oral surgery on patients with the most extreme levels of anxiety and fear. Surgery under general anesthesia is not performed at a general dental clinic in Saskatoon, but at a specialized clinic with the supervision of a specially trained anesthetist.
Just what level of sedation and technique for establishing the required relaxation is appropriate for you depends on several factors: the extent of your fear and anxiety; the nature of treatment you’ll be receiving; and your medical history. If you feel like treatment with sedation dentistry near you may help you to get the treatment you need comfortably and safely, reach out to a dentist near you to discuss your options.