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It is very common for patients to feel some level of anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist. In fact, a very large number of Americans do not get the dental care they need because of these fears. At Scottsdale Smile Center, Dr. Brandon Ryff, Dr. Jonathan Coombs, Dr. Jared Mayer, Dr. Don Chiappetti, and Dr. Reed Chiappetti offer a number of sedation “sleep” dentistry techniques to help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during treatments ranging from basic cosmetic bonding to complete smile makeovers.

“Lovely, caring group of people. As a card carrying dental phobic, they were all extremely careful to explain exactly what they were doing the whole time. I appreciated this as being in the dark and imagining the worst is not good for me! Attention to detail and carefully watching my dental needs over time earns Scottsdale Smile a place in my family of caregivers.”
Karen K. | Actual Patient
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Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is a technique designed to put you in a state of deep relaxation during your dental procedure. There are no IVs or gases involved – it requires only a pill taken about an hour before your treatment. Once the treatment begins, you should feel so relaxed that you may even fall into a light sleep; however, you will be conscious and able to communicate with our dental team. One of our team members will also be monitoring you throughout the treatment to make sure everything is going smoothly. When the treatment is complete, you will likely have no memory of it ever taking place.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” does not typically cause you to fall asleep; however, it can be effective at putting you in a more relaxed state for treatment. Breathed in through the nose, nitrous oxide usually takes only about 20 seconds to take effect, and the effects usually wear off once the procedure is complete. Patients with certain medical conditions may not be candidates for nitrous oxide, but there may be alternative sedation dentistry techniques that can help in these cases.

With sedation dentistry, you can have the dental treatment you need without the anxiety. At Scottsdale Smile Center, our dentists aim to make your visit with us as comfortable as possible.

IV Sedation

For more complex dental treatments, and for patients who have extreme dental anxiety, IV (intravenous) sedation can be administered. This sedation dentistry technique will put you in a state of total unconsciousness during the procedure, and you will not be aware the treatment is taking place. IV sedation can be particularly advantageous for patients who are undergoing complex procedures and/or a number of time-consuming treatments in a single session.

How Does the IV Sedation Process Work?

Before your dental treatment begins, a sedative solution will be injected into a vein in your arm. This solution acts very fast, and treatment will begin only once it is assured that it has taken effect. Depending on your needs and wishes, the IV sedation solution can be adjusted to induce either a deep sleep or just a very relaxed state of consciousness. Your progress throughout the treatment will be continuously monitored to make sure everything is running smoothly.

The effects of IV anesthesia take some time to wear off, so it will be necessary to make arrangements for someone to bring you home after the procedure. It is also important to note that IV sedation is designed to provide patients with a deeper level of sedation than other techniques; therefore, medical history will need to be reviewed before this option can be recommended. Our dentist can determine your candidacy once you have been evaluated during the consultation.

IV Sedation Side Effects

The most common side effect associated with IV sedation is a strong sensation of drowsiness after the procedure, which can last for several hours. Some patients may also experience a temporary “dry mouth” effect. Although rare, other possible side effects of IV sedation include headache and nausea/vomiting following treatment. Our dentist can address any concerns you may have and talk more with you about what to expect.

Tips on Alleviating Dental Fear and Anxiety

In general, patients who experience dental anxiety are mostly afraid of three things: the potential for pain; lack or loss of control; and “the unknown.” Fortunately, there are some easy steps that can be taken before a scheduled dental appointment to alleviate fears associated with the treatment process and reduce stress:

  • Choose an experienced dentist who offers a comforting approach. Our team at Scottsdale Smile Center fully understands that a calming and compassionate chairside manner is crucial for helping patients feel at ease. We also routinely treat patients with dental anxiety and place a strong emphasis on providing effective options for individuals who are under stress about a potential treatment.
  • Don’t hesitate to be honest and forthright about your fears and anxieties. Rest assured that these concerns are very common, and our team can adapt the treatment process to accommodate patients who are nervous or anxious about dental care.
  • Try to schedule your appointment in the morning, if possible. If you are feeling anxious about treatment, a morning appointment enables you to have your treatment early so you won’t have to wait around all day thinking about it.
  • It’s often good to have some food in your stomach before a dental treatment. This can ultimately help your body process heightened levels of adrenaline and uneasiness.
  • Bring a loved one to your appointment. Having a supportive friend or family member with you can provide another calming presence to soothe your nerves both before and after treatment.

Even deep breathing exercises and meditation can be helpful for relieving dental anxiety. Additionally, you should always feel free to inquire about sedation dentistry options that are specifically designed to enhance relaxation and induce a state of calm during dental treatment.

Contact Scottsdale Smile Center

For more information on our sedation “sleep” dentistry techniques, or to schedule an appointment, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center today.