Feeling apprehensive about visiting the dentist is common. Most patients don’t list dental visits among their favorite activities, but still, they schedule appointments and receive preventive and restorative care on schedule. However, some patients have a deep fear of the dentist that goes way beyond apprehension. Their anxiety can be so intense that they never even pick up the phone to schedule necessary dental treatment. Overland Park dentist Dr. Shane Nelson understands this fear and offers sedation dentistry services to help put his patients at ease.
About dental sedation
Dr. Nelson offers two types of sedation.
- Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a very mild form of sedation, where the medication is inhaled through a mask. Patients under nitrous oxide feel calm and relaxed but are still conscious, able to respond to questions or directions, and aware of their surroundings. This form of sedation has several benefits, including being gentle and quick to take effect and wear off. Patients can drive themselves to and from their dental appointment. Additionally, it has very few side effects and can be used in conjunction with other forms of sedation.
- Oral sedation is administered via an oral medication taken before the procedure. This puts the patient into a deeper state of relaxation but still awake and able to respond to questions or commands. Because the medication has a deeper impact, patients will need to arrange for a trusted friend or family member to take them to and from the appointment.
Candidates for dental sedation
Dental sedation is often used for patients who have a fear of the dentist. Perhaps it’s because they had a bad experience in the past or are uncomfortable having someone in their personal space. However, it’s important to note that sedation isn’t just for patients who have a fear of the dentist. It is also often used for patients who have an intense, or quick, gag reflex, for those who have trouble sitting still, or for those who will be in the dentist’s chair for a long period of time.
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