The Latest Options for an Anxiety Free Dental Experience Posted on December 5, 2013 by trinhdm in Sedation Dentistry Dental fears and phobias are not uncommon. In fact, many patients suffer from anxiety related to visiting the dentist. Because your dentist prioritizes patient comfort and relaxation, various types of sedation dentistry are available. Sedation dentistry allows even the most anxious patients to feel at ease during dental procedures. From cleanings to more comprehensive services such as extracting wisdom teeth or performing root canal therapy, varying levels of sedation promote a worry-free and comforting experience. The mildest form of sedation dentistry available is the use of nitrous oxide gas. This method has been proven safe and effective and has been used for over a century in dentistry. A mixture of nitrous and oxygen, this method of sedation is delivered to the patient by a mask that fits over the nose. As the patient breaths in the gas, its relaxing and euphoric effects begin to work almost instantly. An additional benefit to nitrous oxide sedation is that its sedative effects wear off quickly, allowing the patient to drive home after a visit to the dentist. For patients with more significant dental phobias and fears, stronger sedation may be necessary to ensure optimal comfort. Your dentist may prescribe an oral sedative to be taken an hour before your appointment. These medications are stronger than nitrous oxide but milder than full sedation dosages. Anti-anxiety medications work with receptors in the brain to reduce feelings of worry and panic. While the patient will not be totally sedated, they will likely feel relaxed and comfortable. If these types of medications are prescribed, patients will be unable to drive and should arrange for transportation to and from their appointment. Most commonly used for lengthy procedures, full sedation is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Full sedation involves the oral or IV administration of sedative drugs. Total sedation places patients in a restful state of sleep where they will likely have minimal or no recollection of their procedure. If you have dental phobias and fears of an upcoming dental procedure, contact Anderson Dentistry at 817-485-2111 to discuss how sedation dentistry can benefit you.