sedation dentistry in Wichita, KS
As many as 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. Wichita Family Dental is committed to offering our patients options that relieve their stress so they can get much-needed dental treatment in a comfortable environment. Sedation dentistry is an excellent option for patients who experience anxiety about being at the dentist, those who have a hard time sitting still for extended periods of time, and those who have difficulty getting and staying numb from anesthetics.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to safely put you at ease during your dental treatment. While under sedation, you do not experience sounds or smells. You have no sense of time so your Wichita Family Dental doctor can perform most or all of your work at once. You often have no memory of undergoing a dental procedure.
Dental Anxiety is Not Uncommon
Studies suggest that up to 75% of Americans experience fear related to the dentist. If you experience dental anxiety, we want you to know that the team members at Wichita Family Dental will do everything in our power to put you at ease.
Common Signs of Dental Anxiety:
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Queasiness or upset stomach
- Low blood pressure and/or fainting
What Happens When You Avoid the Dentist?
While dental anxiety can seem insurmountable, avoiding the dentist will have serious consequences. Putting off regular cleanings and exams can lead to:
- Bad breath
- Cavities and tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Chipped, broken, or cracked teeth
- Severe pain
- Tooth loss
In addition, research suggests gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Fortunately, the doctors and staff at Wichita Family Dental treat patients with dental anxiety every day. They are trained to act with compassion and understanding and there are many safe and comfortable techniques that can help you reduce your stress while getting the care you need.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM DENTAL SEDATION?
- People with a sensitive gag reflex
- People who have difficulty getting numb
- People with dental anxiety or fear of needles
- People undergoing long or complex treatment
- People who have difficulty sitting still for a long time
WHAT KINDS OF DENTAL TREATMENT CAN I HAVE WHILE SEDATED?
Anything! We can perform dental cleanings, root canals, extractions, wisdom tooth removal, dental crowns, bridges, veneers, dental implants and dentures while you are sedated.
Nitrous Oxide – Laughing gas is the most common method of administering sedatives. It is useful for easing mild to moderate dental anxiety and will make you feel euphoric. Its effects wear off almost immediately as you breathe regular air, allowing you to get back to your daily routine quickly.
Mild (Anxiolysis) – The lightest form of sedation we offer. It is best for patients with mild anxiety. It is usually administered via oral sedation. You will breathe on your own during the procedure, though you may be very sleepy and relaxed. Anxiolysis sedation will wear off within a few hours following the procedure. Nitrous oxide inhalation is also a form of mild sedation that will keep you relaxed.
Moderate (Analgesia) – For those patients with moderate dental anxiety or longer, more complex procedures, analgesia – or conscious sedation – is available. Conscious sedation involves the use of light IV sedation. You will be awake during your procedure but you will be deeply relaxed. We recommend you have someone accompany you to your appointment as the sedative will take several hours to wear off and driving may be unsafe during this time.
Deep – While under deep sedation, you will waver between consciousness and unconsciousness. You will not remember your treatment and while you may be awake, you will be unable to respond to commands. We recommend having someone accompany you to your appointment as the sedative will take several hours to wear off and driving may be unsafe during this time.
Tips and Tricks
Whatever your level of dental anxiety may be, there are many safe techniques that can aid in reducing your stress. If you feel anxious about visiting the dentist, here are our tips for remaining calm:
- Speak up: If you experience dental anxiety, let our staff know so they can adapt their techniques to your individual needs. We encourage you to agree on hand signals to communicate with your dentist during your procedure. If you feel pain or discomfort at any time, use them to alert your dentist.
- Focus on your breathing: We tend to instinctively hold our breath when we are anxious, but this actually decreases your oxygen levels and may increase anxiety. Instead of holding your breath, focus on slow and regular breathing.
- Listen to music: If the sounds of the dental office bother you, feel free to pop in your earbuds and drown them out with music, your favorite podcast, or an audiobook. We would be happy to provide you with headphones and entertainment as well.
For more information about dental anxiety, read our blog:
- MANAGING YOUR ANXIETY ABOUT GOING TO THE DENTIST
- 10 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR DENTAL ANXIETY
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT DENTAL SEDATION
Oral health is important for the health of your whole body. Don’t let dental anxiety stop you from getting the care you need! We can help. Call Today to Make an Appointment. (316) 630-9339