Millions of people experience dental anxiety. At the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, our sedation dentists are trained to use medication to help patients relax. Our dentists understand anxiety and have taken extra care to create a safe and comfortable office environment. This enables most people to receive the care they have been putting off for years—or even a lifetime—and have a smile they can be proud of. If you have dental anxiety, choosing an experienced sedation dentist can help you achieve and maintain good oral health. But there are several things you should know before scheduling an appointment.
1) Levels of Sedation
- Nitrous Oxide – People who face mild anxiety in the dental chair are often soothed by a calm environment and nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide takes effect quickly and is reversed rapidly. Patients who receive it can resume normal activities, including driving, shortly after treatment. With nitrous oxide, you will be awake and aware of your surroundings but feel a sense of tranquility.
- Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS) – This is a moderate level of sedation. Patients who take advantage of OCS are also awake, but it provides a deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide. Despite being conscious, many people feel like they have slept through their appointment. Drowsiness lasts for several hours, so if you receive OCS, you will need an escort to drive you to and from your appointment and to stay with you until the medication wears off.
2) Your Sedation Dentist Has Special Training
Dentists who provide sedation services have taken advanced education courses to learn how the various medications impact the body and what to do if uncommon circumstances arise. Because of this, you can feel confident that you are safe in the doctor’s care.
3) Provide Your Full Medical History
People are sometimes hesitant about providing full details of their medical history, but your sedation dentist needs the information to provide you with the very best care.
Most people who have dental anxiety have it as a result of a traumatic experience. Sometimes, it’s because they had a previous dentist who wasn’t skilled or gentle. Others have had a traumatic experience outside of a dental office. If you know why you have strong emotions about dental appointments, let the doctor know so she or he can avoid triggers and keep you comfortable. Certain medical conditions can impact which medications the doctor provides and the amount prescribed. It’s not only safe but essential that you speak with your doctor about everything that may impact how your body reacts to certain medications.
4) Dental Treatment Can Be Phased
Although sedation dentistry allows more to be accomplished at each visit, lengthy appointments are not required. If you prefer to receive treatment in phases, either for your own comfort or for budgetary reasons, let us know. We can structure your appointments in a way that is comfortable for you.
5) Choose a Sedation Dentist with Experience in Your Areas of Concern
The term “sedation dentist” can apply to any dentist who has received the required training and has the licenses and/or certifications to provide the related services. However, each dentist has a unique background. For example, if want to rehabilitate your whole smile, an accredited cosmetic dentist will achieve great results. If you need dental implants, a doctor who places them frequently can provide the best outcome. Careful selection of your provider will not only help you remain comfortable throughout your appointments but will also give you the smile you want.
If you’re interested in sedation dentistry, we welcome you to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors.
Call us at 404-994-4509, or request an appointment online.