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Did you know that between 9 percent to 15 percent of Americans claim that they do not visit their dentist due to fear? That’s somewhere between 27 to 46 million people! Most dental appointments aren’t painful at all, but it’s common for patients to be afraid of dentistry.

The phrases “dental anxiety” and “dental phobia” are often thought to mean the same thing, but these two phrases are different. Dental anxiety describes a strong feeling of nervousness.

Dental phobia is a more serious affliction. The long-term effects of dental phobia are often advanced gum disease and tooth loss. Those with dental phobia often have discolored teeth, which affects their confidence and overall self-esteem.

If you suffer from dental anxiety or phobia, sedation dentistry is a useful solution for comforting the faint of heart. Intravenous conscious sedation (also known as IV sedation) is when a drug is administered directly into the blood system during a dental procedure, in order to reduce the patient’s anxiety.

During conscious IV sedation, the patient remains conscious and can still respond to requests from the dentist. Even though the patient is awake, he or she may not remember the procedure, because the sedation induces a state of deep relaxation. This gives the patient a care-free feeling, even while experiencing a dental procedure!

IV sedation drugs produce amnesia effects from the period of time that the sedation takes effect until it wears off.

Patients who experience sedation dentistry often believe that time passes quickly, or they may believe they slept through the procedure altogether. Some patients don’t want to remember anything they experienced during the treatment, so the amnesia effects are often welcomed.

The word “intravenous” means the drug is administered into a vein. Many patients are nervous about needles, but we use a very thin needle that is inserted into your arm or the back of your hand. The tiny needle is wrapped in a soft, plastic tube. We remove the needle, leaving the tube in the vein throughout the procedure.

During your appointment, a harmless device called a “pulse oximeter” is clipped onto your finger or earlobe, and it’s used to monitor your pulse and oxygen levels.

IV sedation is safe when it’s performed under the direct supervision of a specially trained dentists like ours. If you’re afraid when it comes to sitting in the dentist’s chair, then sedation dentistry is a great solution for you. Come and visit our office, and we’ll take good care of you.