Dentists want nothing more than for their patients to be healthy, happy, and comfortable. Yet, millions of Americans, including many in and around San Antonio, are afraid of the dentist.
We try not to take it personally (and truth be told, some dentists are afraid of getting dental care, too). Through training and experience, we have come to understand the importance of helping our patients feel comfortable and relaxed when they come to our office.
If you experience dental anxiety, we welcome you to visit our office, Advanced Dental Associates, to find out about our comfort options and about our sedation dentistry.
The origins of sedation dentistry go back more than 240 years. Nitrous oxide was discovered in the 1770s.
Humphrey Davy was a pioneer in using nitrous oxide, which you may know as laughing gas, according to the website Dental Fear Central. Davy administered nitrous oxide on himself to treat a toothache.
It took a few decades, but with time, the medical and dental communities understand the anesthetic and amnesiac properties of nitrous oxide.
People who undergo this kind of dental sedation experience a kind of euphoric feeling within minutes of breathing in the gas. Perhaps more importantly, you will feel calm and tranquil.
You will continue breathing the gas throughout your procedure. When it’s over, we turn off the gas, and just as quickly as you felt its effects, you will return to feeling like yourself.
The only difference is that you will have received the care you need to maintain your oral health.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Nitrous oxide has a long history of use, but it isn’t the only form of sedation available to our patients. Some patients need something a little stronger to sit down in a dentist’s chair.
That’s OK. It’s also why we offer oral conscious sedation.
If the thought of coming to the dentist office fills you with anxiety, this may be an effective option for you. On the day of your appointment, you will take a pill.
You will want to make arrangements for a family member or friend to bring you to the office. By the time you take your place in the dental chair, you may feel drowsy. You may even fall asleep.
There’s a good chance you won’t remember anything about your procedure, but you will receive the care you need nonetheless.
The effects of the pill can last for a few hours, so your family member or friend will need to take you home. We also recommend resting in bed for a few hours when you get there.
Like oral conscious sedation, the effects of IV sedation can last for a few hours. You will need someone else to take you home if you receive this form of sedation.
IV sedation can be carefully controlled to leave you in a “twilight state.” In this state, you will be able to respond questions and requests from the dentists, even though you may not recall anything about the treatment.
We often use IV sedation for longer, more complicated procedures, but we can use it for patients with severe dental anxiety as well.
As with oral conscious sedation, you will want to rest for a while after you get home.
Caring With Care
Our concern for your well-being and comfort starts when you call our walk into our office. Our staff wants you to feel at ease, and we are happy to do what we can to help you.
During your visit, we can provide pillows and blankets. Many people find these can help them feel cozier when seated in the dentist’s chair.
We also offer the option of longer appointments. If you don’t want to undergo sedation, this could be an alternative. With a longer appointment, we can take breaks. It may be easier to complete your treatment if you receive it a little bit at a time.
We can provide water if you are feeling thirsty, too, and we have private operatories. Your dental care is your business, and this also may help you relax in our office.
Questions Are Always Welcome
If you haven’t been to the dentist for several years, we know it can be difficult to make an appointment. You are welcome to visit our dentist office in San Antonio to understand our approach to dentistry before you schedule any treatment.