Relieving Dental Anxiety With Sedation
The biggest thing that relieves dental anxiety in my personal opinion is listening. The first thing that patients want to know like I've said over and over is are you going to hurt me? The thing that makes patients at ease is being able to have a caring conversation about what it is that they need and them realizing that my main goal is not to get my hands in their mouth and my hands in their wallet. That usually relieves anxiety tremendously. As far as techniques go, actual dental techniques, nitrous oxide works great. Good anesthesia works great. The chair massager can distract people significantly. In general though, nothing beats caring, and slowing down and listening to patients. Obviously, there are moments of severe anxiety in the dental office that we're not always going to be able to alleviate, but we do our best.
The other thing that we can provide is oral sedation. We use Valium, Halcion. We also use Ativan. There's a number of pharmacologic tools that we can use that will help a patient be much more relaxed and probably forget the vast majority of the appointment.
Dental fear or anxiety is one of the biggest obstacles some people have to overcome to get the dental care they need. Here at our Norton Shores, MI dentist office, we work hard to help all of our patients feel comfortable and relaxed while visiting us at Community Shores Dental. Below we have answered some of the most common questions we get regarding our dental sedation and comfort options. Feel free to contact us with any additional concerns you may have.
What is dental sedation?
Dental sedation is a variety of substances that are used to help patients relax and feel at ease during dental treatment. At Community Shores Dental, we use dental sedation to help patients who may be experiencing dental fear or anxiety. It is important to get regular dental care regardless of anxiety, and dental sedation allows nervous patients to get the help they need.
What types of dental sedation do you offer?
At Community Shores Dental, we offer all four levels of dental sedation. While many dental offices may offer the two lowest levels, our team goes the extra mile to offer you top-notch comfort.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation – Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is designed to create a sense of euphoria. This is our lowest level of sedation. It is inhaled via a face mask and is easily adjusted during treatment if necessary.
Oral Conscious Sedation – Oral conscious sedation is a medication designed to create a sense of grogginess. As a mid-level dental sedation option, it will help a moderately anxious patient completely relax throughout treatment, yet still be responsive and aware of what is happening.
IV Sedation – Administered via an intravenous line, IV sedation produces a sleep-like state and is great for patients who are very nervous or even fearful. It is also used for long or complicated procedures. IV sedation is completely safe to use under the supervision of our specially trained dental team.
General Anesthesia – Our heaviest level of sedation, general anesthesia is often used for major surgeries. This type of dental sedation allows you to sleep through the entire procedure. You will wake up with no memory of the experience. Great for patients who are extremely fearful.
How else can you help me feel comfortable?
We focus on having calming music. We focus on the dentist really focusing on the patient relationship and helping that patient to get to a calm spot. We turn the vibrator and the chair massager on the chair. There's actually a heated chair as well, a heating unit in the chair. I'd say those things are our main ... Trying to be efficient and quick so the patient doesn't spend an inordinate amount of time in the dental chair. That's probably one of the best things that patients like is that we're efficient with our time. They don't sit in our chairs for extended periods of time.
In addition to dental sedation, we offer a number of comfort amenities to help you feel completely relaxed while in our care. To help you relax and know that you can take your time, we offer longer appointment time slots. This will allow you to take the appointment at your own pace. Once you arrive at our Norton Shores, MI dentist office, we also offer semi-private operatories and heated massage chairs. Our team works hard to help each and every visitor to our Norton Shores, MI dentist office feel at home.
What will happen if I allow my dental anxiety to keep me from getting care?
Allowing your dental anxiety to keep you from getting the care you need is the best way to increase your risk of serious dental problems like gum disease and tooth decay. When caught early, these issues are easy to fix and are not expensive to treat. However, when left to grow into advanced stages, gum disease and tooth decay can be painful and costly. Don’t let dental anxiety ruin your smile!
Dr. Christopher Sortman has studied dentistry at University of Michigan Dental School and has completed Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program while serving as Navy dentist.
How can I schedule an appointment?
Are you ready to get the dental care you need despite your anxiety? Community Shores Dental will be happy to help you. Please contact our Norton Shores, MI dentist office directly to schedule a visit.
You can reach us by calling 231-366-4182 or by sending us a message using our online contact form. Either way, we will be happy to help you find a suitable date and time for your visit. We look forward to meeting you.
Get Our Ebook
Gum Disease Affects YOUR Health Seeing the dentist can SAVE YOUR LIFE! Find out why in this exclusive FREE e-book offer!