Sedation takes the edge off dental treatment in Greensboro, NC
Maybe you have noticed someone on the bus, at your office, or on the golf course . . . a perfectly nice person . . . with unsightly or missing teeth. Perhaps you wondered for a moment how that happened, or why the individual doesn’t seek help. In many cases, the answer to both questions is dental anxiety. A surprising number of people – male and female of all ages – avoid even routine dental checkups because they are afraid. Dr. Steven Hatcher offers sedation dental treatment to help patients in the Greensboro, NC area get the care they need.
Understanding your choices
Many of the words related to sedation dentistry are used interchangeably or incorrectly. If you or someone you care about has dental anxiety, learning a bit more about your options is usually a good place to start.
- Anesthesia – An overarching term describing a lack of sensitivity to pain induced by medication.
- Anesthetic – The numbing effect of local injections is an example of a pain block, one element of anesthesia. It interrupts transmission that normally travel from nerves to pain receptors in the central nervous system.
- Sedation – Another component of anesthesia, that calms anxiety centers in the brain. Sedation brings a sense of relaxation to mind and body. Depending on the medication used, the sedative effect can be mild, leaving you fully conscious but composed and unconcerned; a little deeper, potentially letting you doze off during treatment; or as in the case of general anesthesia, unconscious.
Some patients need only local numbing for dental procedures, others benefit from mild sedation to ensure a pleasant examination experience, and a combination of the two could be in order for more extensive dental work. You are assured of this high level of personalized care at Steven L. Hatcher, DDS, PA.
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Dental anxiety is no laughing matter
Fear of dental treatment may be deeply rooted in past experiences, exaggerated “horror” stories from others, or personal issues with closeness and control. Regardless, it is a real condition and one that receives respect and compassion in Dr. Hatcher’s care.
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a light form of sedation that turns anxiety into contentment for many patients. The pleasantly-scented gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask fitted over the nose. Within just a minute or two, you begin to feel happy and carefree. Dosage is monitored and adjusted throughout treatment to safely maintain this undisturbed state. When flow of gas is halted, the sedative wears off immediately, with no after effect. The patient can return to work, school, or other activities without grogginess.
This form of sedation can be a good choice for the individual who needs dental work that requires numbing, but has a fear of needles.
There are a few contraindications but be assured that the doctor carefully considers your medical history before prescribing N2O. It is safe for children, too, and in fact a terrific way to establish positive dental experience that become the foundation for a healthy lifetime attitude toward dental care.
Are you the patient who lays awake the night before a dental appointment, finds excuses to cancel, or fidgets in the waiting room with a pounding chest? Oral conscious sedation, can be a big relief. This is simply a pill you take by mouth. The doctor will be able to give you this medication to take prior to your dental visit.
The medication, in the valium family of drugs, is a moderate relaxant. You may feel drowsy, so it is important to have someone drive you to the dental office and home afterward.
During treatment, you remain conscious (although some people fall asleep) but quite relaxed, emotionally and physically. You breathe normally, respond to conversation, and can move or get up if you need to, with assistance, of course. Since you are not clenching or subconsciously “fighting” the dentist, treatment time and jaw strain are reduced. You likely have little or no memory of treatment when the effect wears off in a few hours.
Oral sedation can be used in combination with nitrous oxide and/or numbing injections.
When sedation dental treatment in Greensboro, NC makes sense, you can trust the training, professionalism, and compassion of the Steven L. Hatcher, DDS, PA team. Call (336) 560-4240 to schedule an appointment.