Sedation Dentistry in Union City, NJ
Providing sedation dentistry in a calm and relaxing setting for patients with dental anxiety or special needs.
Anxiety and fear about going to the dentist are very common. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 80% of adults in the U.S. have some degree of dental anxiety!
For 36% of people, this fear impacts their willingness to seek dental care. About 12% of adults have an extreme fear of dental visits known as dentophobia. And 9% of adults avoid dental care completely because of their anxiety.
Why is dental anxiety so common? It’s believed that it results from a dental experience during childhood that was unpleasant and from learning about the unpleasant experiences that others had in the past.
However, many exciting advancements in dentistry over the past several years have made the process a much more comfortable experience for many people.
At Union City Mini Dental Implants, we completely understand that many of our patients still have some level of dental anxiety. If you are one of them, please know that we take your fears seriously and are committed to easing your anxiety and soothing your nerves.
We have a wide variety of options available that can make you very comfortable during your appointments with us, no matter what your treatments entail.
One of the most popular options for managing dental apprehension that we offer is sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a term that refers to procedures done during a dental appointment while the patient is more relaxed with the use of sedative medications. There are different ways sedation can be administered to patients, as well as different levels of sedation.
Levels of Sedation Dentistry
There are four different levels of sedation that can be used to help patients feel more at ease during their dental procedures:
- Minimal: The patient is awake and relaxed and can communicate normally.
- Moderate: Also called conscious sedation. At this level, patients respond to verbal stimulation, but they often have no recollection of their procedure.
- Deep: At this level, the patient is completely relaxed and only responds to repetitive stimulation.
- General anesthesia: This level is the deepest sedation level and is generally only used in an outpatient surgery or hospital setting. However, by partnering with an expert anesthesiologist, we are able to provide this service to our patients.
Patients must be honest with Dr. Diana Rodriguez, DMD, and the staff at Union City Mini Dental Implants about their level of apprehension concerning an upcoming dental procedure. Only when patients are honest can the most appropriate type and level of sedation dentistry be determined.
Types of Sedation We Provide
There are two options available to help patients relax during dental procedures:
- A nitrous oxide mask
- Conscious oral sedation
The type of sedation used for patients depends on a variety of factors, including the patient’s history, level of dental anxiety, medical condition and history, age, and overall health.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is given to the patient via a nosepiece or mask. The patient inhales the nitrous oxide, and within three to five minutes, they will begin to feel more calm and relaxed.
Dr. Diana Rodriguez, DMD, controls the level of nitrous oxide patients receive and can adjust the dosage as needed throughout dental procedures. Once the nitrous oxide is no longer needed, pure oxygen is administered to flush the laughing gas from the patient’s system.
The use of laughing gas doesn’t affect the ability of patients to drive themselves home after their appointments because it leaves the body quickly.
Conscious Oral Sedation
With this type of sedation, you will be prescribed a sedative medication that is usually in pill form to help calm your nerves. It’s typically taken about one hour prior to the beginning of your appointment.
This type of sedation can make patients a little groggy, and some even fall asleep, though it’s very light sleep. Oral sedation can sometimes temporarily affect a person’s memory, as well as their motor skills, so patients who take this route for sedation dentistry will need someone to drive them home after their appointment.
There are several different oral medications that Dr. Diana Rodriguez, DMD, can prescribe to help our patients relax, some of which include:
If a patient cannot take the medication in pill form for some reason, a liquid medication, such as midazolam oral syrup, can be prescribed.
Who Might Need Sedation Dentistry?
In addition to people with dental anxiety, some others who could benefit from sedation dentistry include people with:
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- An overly sensitive gag reflex
- Difficulty controlling their movements
- Feelings of claustrophobia in the dental chair
- A fear of needles
If any of the conditions mentioned apply to you, make sure to let Dr. Rodriguez know well in advance of your appointment.
Your Appointment: Before Sedation Dentistry
When you talk to the dentist about options for sedation, you’ll go over your health history and discuss any supplements or medications you are taking. Speaking openly with Dr. Diana Rodriguez, DMD, about these topics will help her make the best recommendations for sedation based on your needs.
Eating and Drinking
Patients should refrain from eating or drinking for about six hours before a dental appointment involving sedation dentistry. You will be informed if you need to interrupt your normal medication routine. Otherwise, continue taking your medications as you normally do.
It’s important to note that regardless of the type of sedation dentistry you will receive, you will still be given a local anesthetic to numb the area of your teeth and gums that will receive treatment. However, Dr. Rodriguez will do this after you feel comfortable with the sedation.
The nitrous oxide mask is the only type of sedation dentistry that allows you to drive yourself home once your appointment is over. Otherwise, plan to have someone you know drive you home afterward.
Do not take a rideshare or taxi after sedation; you will need a trusted person to ensure you safely arrive home and are comfortably resting before they leave you. Once your appointment is over, make sure to go right home and rest until the sedation wears off.
If you only used nitrous oxide, you can resume normal activities (including driving) right after your appointment.
Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Diana Rodriguez, DMD
At Union City Mini Dental Implants, we understand the intense anxiety many of our patients feel when it comes to visiting the dentist. We’re more than happy to discuss your sedation dentistry options with you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!