Sedation Dentistry and Your Next Dental Appointment

You grew up hating the dentist. Sitting in the chair with your mouth open while someone picked and poked around your mouth with cold instruments felt almost torturous. And then once the cleaning was done, you had to sit with a foul tasting fluoride treatment on your teeth for what seemed like an eternity. Then the next week, you had to return for three fillings at the same time. The whole ordeal left you scarred.


As you got older, you put off going to the dentist altogether, even for routine cleanings. You brushed and flossed regularly, but finally, you realized you couldn’t put it off any more. You’ve scheduled an appointment for next week, but you are nervous. The sensitivity you’ve been experiencing leads you to believe you have a cavity, maybe even an abscess, but the thought of a root canal makes you very anxious.


Safe Dental Sedation Is The Way To Go

If the thought of sitting in the dentist chair makes you nervous, talk to Dr. Agarwal about sedation to overcome your dental phobia. There are different levels of sedation and anesthesia available, which can help you relax and feel comfortable while having your teeth cleaned or repaired. The levels we offer at Raleigh Dental Arts include:


Nitrous Oxide: More commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide relaxes you and makes it easier by calming mild to moderate anxiety. It is typically used in conjunction with local anesthesia for an comfortable procedure, yet you’ll still be fully awake and know what’s going on. It is perfect for something short like a cleaning or filling. But if you have a longer appointment scheduled, for a root canal or multiple fillings, another option might be better for you.


Oral Conscious Sedation (OCS): OCS starts with a pill or liquid that is given by one of our dental assistants a half hour or so before your appointment time. In about twenty minutes, you’ll feel lighter, more relaxed. Although you won’t remember much of anything (the sedative causes amnesia,) you’ll still be able to respond to Dr. Agarwal, who will be in the room with you the whole time. Many people refer to this as “sleep dentistry,” although this is something of a misnomer since you are conscious the entire visit. If you schedule an appointment for oral conscious sedation, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home from our Raleigh office.


General Anesthesia: Anesthesia is normally reserved for oral surgery like wisdom tooth removal or extensive implant cases, but it can, under certain circumstances, be used for a restorative appointment. General anesthesia is administered intravenously through a needle in your hand or arm. Your vitals will be monitored the entire time you are under. Unlike oral conscious sedation, you will not be awake or able to respond, but you will need someone to drive you home from your appointment.


Even without sedation, there is truly nothing to be nervous about as you sit in Dr. Agarwal’s chair. Call today to find out how we can ease your dental anxiety and put you on the road to excellent dental health!