South Anchorage Dental Center

Sedation Dentistry in Anchorage: Options to Ease Dental Anxiety

November 17, 2022
Sedation Dentistry in Anchorage: Options to Ease Dental Anxiety

Does the idea of going to the dentist bring feelings of fear and anxiety? Dental phobia and dental anxiety are common in both children and adults. However, it’s important to address these issues. Otherwise, you might stay away for years while your teeth and mouth become more and more unhealthy. Fortunately, at SADC, we offer several types of sedation dentistry in Anchorage to ease your anxiety and help you have a positive, relaxing experience.

Could sedation dentistry be your ticket to a healthier mouth? Reach out to SADC to start your tranquil journey to better dental health.

What Does “Sedation Dentistry” Mean?

Sedation dentistry refers to several different methods of helping you feel calm and relaxed during dental treatments. With some types of sedation, you stay awake and aware, while other types of sedation allow you to sleep through the procedure. In both cases, you skip the feelings of terror or anxiety and still have healthy, well-cared-for teeth. Then, after you have experienced an easy dental visit, your dental phobia can begin to fade.

Types of Sedation Dentistry in Anchorage at SADC

4 Types of Sedation Options for Dentistry Infographic

At SADC, we offer several options for easing your pain and anxiety during dental procedures. Whether you are here for a cleaning or a surgical procedure, you can relax and rest while our dentist provides exceptional dental care for you.

Our sedation options include the following:

  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Oral Conscious Sedation
  • IV Sedation
  • General Anesthesia

Nitrous Oxide

You may have heard of “laughing gas,” a common term for nitrous oxide. This chemical compound takes the form of a colorless gas. In sedation dentistry in Anchorage, we use nitrous oxide to help people relax while awake. Because you are awake, your dentist can give you instructions, and you can answer questions.

At the same time, you feel relaxed and don’t notice any pain. Throughout the procedure, your dentist adjusts the flow of the gas to keep you awake but calm. After they finish the treatment, the dentist uses pure oxygen to push out the nitrous oxide from your lungs. The dental visit is complete, leaving you feeling pleasant and ready to get back to your day. In fact, you can even drive home on your own.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation means that your dentist provides you with a medication that eases anxiety without putting you to sleep. About an hour ahead of the treatment or procedure, your dentist gives you a pill or liquid medication to take. Some of the medications that can be used for oral conscious sedation include Halcion, Valium, zaleplon, or lorazepam. Children are typically given a liquid medication.

After you take the pill or liquid for oral conscious sedation, you might feel groggy or go to sleep. However, you will awaken easily in case the doctor needs to give you instructions or ask a question. These oral medications can affect your motor skills and memory, so you will need someone else to drive you home. In the meantime, you will have had a positive experience in the dental chair.

IV Sedation

SADC provides IV sedation dentistry in Anchorage. It’s especially helpful for people who have a severe dental phobia or for those who need extensive treatment. Before beginning the dental work, an IV is put into place. Then, the dentist gives you sedative medications through the IV.

During the procedure, the dentist will watch your vital signs and make adjustments to the sedative medications as needed. In most cases, people who get IV sedation fall asleep during the procedure. Afterward, they usually don’t remember much, if anything, about the procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a type of sedation dentistry that is used less often. However, it can be extremely helpful for people with special needs, young children, or for anyone who has severe dental phobia. Only anesthesiologists or dentists with specialized training can provide general anesthesia for dental work. You will be unconscious and won’t feel or remember the procedure at all. You will need a trusted friend or family member to take you home and make sure you’re safe and comfortable before leaving you alone.

Reasons to Choose Sedation Dentistry

People choose sedation dentistry in Anchorage for many reasons. Perhaps they have dental anxiety or dental phobia. They might become fearful as soon as they walk into the dental clinic or see the dentist. People with a fear of needles or claustrophobia can also benefit from sedation dentistry.

However, it is not just about fear. Your SADC dentist might recommend sedation dentistry if you have a hypersensitive gag reflex, extremely sensitive teeth, or a lack of sensitivity to local anesthesia. If you or your child has special needs, such as physical, behavioral, or cognitive challenges, sedation dentistry can help immensely.

In addition, sedation dentistry has several benefits. The doctor can do more at one visit, so you won’t have to have as many separate appointments. Yet, even more importantly for many dental patients, it can eliminate the fear and anxiety they associate with going to the dentist. Then, their dentist can take better care of their teeth because they will be more willing to go to the dental office.

How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?

At South Anchorage Dental Center in Anchorage, you can be sure that our dentists provide exceptional and safe sedation dentistry. Although we take extra precautions to ensure safe dentistry, you might notice certain complications. For example, you might be drowsy for a while after the procedure. Your mouth might feel dry, you might have a headache, or you may experience nausea or even vomiting. If you have IV sedation, it’s possible you could have a bruise where the IV was placed.

Side effects in children can be somewhat different. Children may snore, run a fever, have nausea and vomiting, or just feel irritable. Also, some children don’t wake up as quickly as expected. In this case, their dentist watches and attends to their needs until they are ready to go home.

At your consultation, your dentist can go over all the possible side effects and risks. For those who genuinely fear the mere idea of dental work, the help they can get from sedation dentistry outweighs any small side effects they might notice.

How Can I Get Sedation Dentistry in Anchorage?

Before SADC dentists provide sedation dentistry, we need to have a consultation with you if you are the patient or the parent of a child who will be getting dental work. During this discussion, we assess your need for sedation dentistry and, if so, what level of sedation will be best for you. We can also take time to explain all the payment options we offer, including our Dental Savings Plan, so you can relax about the cost, too.

Once we go over all the options and make our recommendation, you decide whether to proceed with the treatment. If so, we set a date for your treatment, allowing enough time for the specific type of sedation we will use and the dental work we will do. All you need to do is show up to your appointment. Your dentist will take it from there. In the end, you can walk away feeling relaxed and showing off your beautiful smile.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to relax while getting important dental treatments? Set up a consultation at SADC to discuss sedation dentistry in Anchorage.

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