Most people respond to an upcoming dental appointment with a corny joke to hide a slight sense of anxiety and impending doom. However, a few people are overwhelmed with a phobia that is no joke. For those with dental phobias, please rest assured that Drs. Walters and Bath-Walters and the staff at Advanced Dental Care & Aesthetics take your fears seriously. Our goal is to provide the dental treatment you need while dealing with the fears that you may have.
Two levels of anxiety and treatment exist.
Nitrous Oxide for Mild to Moderate Anxiety
– For these patients, we recommend nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas). This gas is non-irritating, sweet-smelling, and colorless. It is designed to minimize or eliminate mild anxiety during a dental procedure.
This traditional means of sedation leaves a patient conscious and able to drive themselves home as soon as the treatment is concluded. Nitrous oxide offers the following benefits.
- The level of sedation may be reduced or increased as needed throughout the dental procedure.
- There is no “hangover” effect.
- There are no side effects for your lungs, heart, or other vital organs.
- The “gag” reflex is practically eliminated.
- It is fast acting.
You will want to inform your dentist if you have any conditions which inhibit your ability to breathe easily.
IV Sedation for Moderate to Severe Anxiety
– I.V. sedation is very similar to conscious sedation, but it is administered more often because the levels of sedation are more predictably reached. We have a nurse anesthetist that works with us, and there’s little to no memory of the appointment. Vital signs are monitored at all times. Patients undergoing IV Sedation will become greatly relaxed, perhaps to the point of sleeping through the treatment. However, they are never “unconscious” and can readily be aroused. Once the sedation wears off, the patient will have little to no memory of the procedure. The sedation effects will linger, and the patient will need to be driven home. He will also need to be accompanied for the remainder of the day. A doctor can help you determine which method is more appropriate for your situation.
You could be a candidate for sedation dentistry if . . .
- You experience high levels of fear
- You have had a traumatic dental experience in the past
- You have difficulty getting numb from traditional local anesthetic
- You fight a bad gag reflex
- You have an overwhelming fear of shots or needles
- You have an extreme dislike for the noises/smells/tastes that are traditionally associated with dental care
- You have disabilities that eliminate the possibility of traditional dental procedures
Dr. Steven Walters has the most recent training available in sedation dentistry. He is certified by the Ohio State Dental Board to offer and perform conscious sedation and I.V. sedation.