Smiling young woman receiving dental checkup

Some 40 million people avoid dental care each year for one reason: anxiety.

Fear of the dental chair is the biggest reason Americans don’t go the dentist. And when you avoid the dentist, you run the risk of more serious problems developing.

For many, the problem is compounded when complex procedures like dental implants or bone grafts are required. Unlike regular dental exams or simple fillings, the procedures require more invasive dental work that may cause a good deal of stress for the patient.

To alleviate worry and fear at the dentist, a variety of sedation options are available so that you can relax comfortably during the procedure. Additionally, due to their more invasive nature, some procedures simply require patients to be sedated.

Here’s a look at some of the sedation dentistry options available at Vero Implants and Periodontics.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide has been used in dental offices for years to help calm patients before treatment. Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is delivered though a mask that sits on your nose. The gas is harmless and the effects subside very quickly after the gas flow is stopped. It’s best when used in conjunction with routine dental procedures. You should be able to drive yourself home following nitrous oxide sedation.

Oral Sedation Dentistry

With this type of sedation, you’ll be given a anxiolytic medication to help you relax during the procedure. Frequently, prescription drugs like Valium, Ativan, Xanax and Halcion are prescribed. These drugs work by reducing the brain activities that causes fear and anxiety.

Dr. Brown will recommend the right medication for you depending on your specific needs and the type of procedure you’re having. You might even start the drugs a day before your appointment so you can sleep and relax in the hours leading up to your appointment.

The downside is that these drugs can cause you to become disoriented. You shouldn’t drive or attempt to work while taking these drugs. You’ll need a friend or loved one to accompany you to your appointment, even if you plan to walk or use a ride-sharing service.

Conscious Sedation Dentistry

With deep conscious sedation, you’ll be awake enough to respond to commands, but you will remember little about the procedure. Drugs used to achieve conscious sedation are usually given intravenously but may also be given orally. The effects are immediate. You’ll feel drowsy and relaxed; you may even go to sleep during the procedure. However, you won’t really know what’s going on around you.

Because of the after-effects of sedation, you’ll need someone to help you get home after the appointment.

Intravenous Sedation Dentistry

This is the deepest type of sedation available, and although it’s very safe, intravenous sedation must be administered by someone who has been trained to deliver this type of anesthesia. You’ll go to sleep once the drugs are administered through an IV. You will have no memory of the dental procedure. The mixture of drugs will both relax you and block you from experiencing any pain.

IV sedation is intended for adults with moderate to severe dental anxiety or for those who need more complex procedures like implants or surgical cleaning. It will take about an hour for you to fully wake up following the procedure. Following IV sedation, you’ll need someone to help you get back home.

Specialized Training

The staff at Vero Implants and Periodontics are well equipped to provide sedation services. Dr. Brown is certified in intravenous conscious sedation, and two paramedics are on staff to provide assistance during IV sedation. While it’s highly unlikely, these highly-trained EMTs are on hand to address any issue that comes up during the procedure.

When you have dental anxiety and need routine or a more complex procedure, sedation dentistry will help you relax and stay calm during the treatment. Vero Implants and Periodontics offers a variety of sedation options. If you’re nervous about treatment, please contact our office and schedule a consultation. Dr. Brown will be glad to discuss how sedation can help you face your fears and get the treatment you need.

Contact us today at 772-569-9700 or use our convenient online form to request an appointment.