How Anesthesia and Sedation Can Help With Your Dental Anxiety

Most people don’t relish the thought of visiting the dentist. But if dental appointments give you anxiety, worry, and fear, it could be dental anxiety.

Avoiding the dentist’s office completely might seem like the way to handle dental anxiety, but ignoring your oral health could have serious consequences. From tooth decay and gum disease to loose and missing teeth, the risks of forgoing dental care can be far-reaching.

There’s a better way: Dental anesthesia and sedation could help put your mind at ease. At Arcadia Perio, our team understands that dental work can be intimidating. That’s why we offer customizable sedation for all types of dental procedures.

You can be assured that our periodontal surgeons, J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, have your comfort in mind.

Understanding dental anxiety

An estimated 36% of Americans have dental anxiety, and another 12% have extreme dental fear. Whether you had a traumatic dental experience in the past or you know someone who did, dental fear is very common.

It often stems from a fear of pain or fear of needles. Some people avoid more advanced dental work because they fear that the numbing medication either won’t work or will wear off too soon, and they’ll experience intense pain.

Signs that you have dental anxiety include avoiding going to the dentist or feeling nervous, uneasy, or even physically ill as your appointment approaches. You might have trouble sleeping the night before your appointment.

Dental anxiety is extremely common among people of all ages, but this fear can have serious consequences when it comes to oral health. If you avoid even routine dental cleanings, you increase your risk of cavities, gum disease, and more.

If you’re nervous about going to the dentist, let us know and ask about sedation dentistry. There’s no procedure too minor for sedation.

Customizing sedation dentistry

At Arcadia Perio, we offer a range of anesthesia and sedation options to help you feel more comfortable in the dental chair.

All our dental anesthesia options help calm your nerves, but we offer three different levels to meet the needs of all our patients. We customize your sedation plan based on the procedure you’re getting and your dental anxiety.

Light sedation

Light sedation keeps you awake and aware of your surroundings, but it helps you feel more relaxed. We use nitrous oxide (sometimes called laughing gas) for patients of all ages with mild dental anxiety.

Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen, and you breathe it in through a nasal mask. After a few minutes, you begin to feel floaty and calm. You remember everything that happens during your procedure, and the effects of nitrous oxide wear off shortly after you stop breathing it in.

Mild sedation

We also offer oral sedation for patients. It helps you feel drowsy and more relaxed. Oral sedation is still considered mild sedation, but you’re more likely to fall asleep with this method than with nitrous oxide.

Oral sedatives are available as pills or liquids. You take a prescribed dose before your procedure begins. You might remain awake and remember everything, but some of our patients drift to sleep. We can easily wake them once the procedure is complete.

Advanced sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is the most advanced form of dental sedation we offer at Arcadia Perio. This method involves sedative medication delivered directly to your bloodstream via IV, and the IV continues throughout the duration of your procedure.

Patients who choose IV sedation may remain awake, but it’s likely that they won’t remember everything that happens. Some people fall asleep, and we gently wake them after the treatment is over.

You don’t have to let fear compromise your oral health. Ask us about the benefits of anesthesia and sedation to ease dental anxiety. Call our Arcadia, California, office to schedule your consultation.

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