Visiting the dentist can be the cause of a lot of anxiety and many people find themselves trying to figure out ways to deal with this problem. We want you to know you’re not alone and that this issue is more common that you may think. It’s estimated that nearly 75% of people experience anxiety related to dental visits. If you’re someone who feels fear or discomfort over going to the dentist, we’d like to help. Hiram Center for Family Dentistry provides nitrous oxide, oral sedation and IV sedation through our oral surgeon as sedation dentistry options. Our priority is always on alleviating your concerns and helping you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Dental phobia is one of the top three most common phobias in adults, but it can affect people of all ages. We understand what you’re feeling and our team is here every step of the way with safe and simple solutions to your dental anxiety.

What You Can Expect With Sedation

Before anything else, we start with a consultation. When you come in for a visit, you’ll meet with the dental team to go over your options. During this time, your dentist will cover medical history and anxiety history. This is the time to let us know any potential allergic reactions or other medical concerns. It’s also when you can ask us anything—how local anesthetics are administered, how the different sedation options work, or any other related questions you have. Consultations exist so that we can acquaint ourselves, discuss the planned approach, and give advice on what’s coming next. These appointments are meant to address your concerns and fears, so don’t be worried about asking too many questions. We want to understand your goals for creating your ideal smile, and we want to make sure we give you the experience you are looking for with every visit.

When it’s time for sedation, all treatments are performed in a relaxing environment, with shaded eyewear and HD TVs. By going over exactly what to expect and addressing some of the most common concerns, our goal is to continue lessening any fears or anxieties you may be feeling. We want to help you feel safe, relaxed and comfortable while you visit us.

Patient being sedated for dental procedure in Hiram.

Managing Anxiety and How It Works

Sedation is a method of managing anxiety. Patients receive sedation for a number of reasons including dental anxiety, strong gag reflexes, major procedures or necessary numbing in addition to local anesthetics.

During a visit, the purpose of sedation is often to help with relaxation because the last thing we want is for our patients to feel uncomfortable or intimidated. Dentists make recommendations with your safety and comfort in mind.

A licensed dentist will administer a combination of medications to help patients feel calm while receiving dental care.The effect can be minimal, moderate or deep, but you’re never put under completely, which results in fewer side effects.

Three Levels of Sedation

Nitrous Oxide

This type of sedation is also known as “laughing gas.” It’s a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen gases that you breathe in through a mask over your nose. Inhaling nitrous oxide creates a sense of well-being and relaxation. It also dulls your senses, which makes the administration of anesthetic injections more comfortable. Nitrous oxide is a great option for patients who have a strong gag reflex that interferes with dental treatment.

Since it’s the lightest level of sedation, you remain calm while fully conscious. The recovery time is very quick—within a few minutes of breathing pure oxygen, you’ll be fully cognizant again and able to drive home.

With its minimal bounce-back time and high safety rating, nitrous oxide is widely considered to be one of the best sedation techniques in dentistry.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral sedation is the middle ground between nitrous oxide and IV sedation. This is when a dentist prescribes an oral sedative that you’ll take prior to your treatment. Typically, the dose is taken about an hour before you come in. By the time you arrive at our office, you’ll be feeling significantly relaxed. Once you’re here, we will assess you and, if needed, we will administer more sedatives to bring you to a deeper state of relaxation and comfort. The most common use for oral sedation is actually to reduce anxiety. Sometimes it’s also used in combination with nitrous oxide.

The specific level of sedation depends on the dose prescribed. Although conscious, this state of relaxation means that you typically won’t be aware of the appointment. Most patients even end up falling asleep. With this option, you’ll feel much more calm and much less nervous.

The effects wear off slower than nitrous oxide, but quicker than IV sedation. Afterwards, you’ll probably feel sleepy for the rest of the day and it will take around 24 hours for the medication to fully clear your system. This means you must be accompanied by someone who can escort you to and from the appointment, and they’ll need to stay during the appointment as well.

IV Conscious Sedation

This is the deepest form of sedation available for patients who aren’t asleep. IV conscious sedation provides a significant state of relaxation, more so than most other forms of sedation dentistry. Our oral surgeon will administer this type of sedation.

You can expect anxiety levels to be much lower and time to pass much more quickly. While under IV sedation, most patients report little to no memory of treatment. Recovery typically takes about 30 minutes, but you will continue to feel drowsy afterwards. For this reason, you must have someone who can drive you to and from the appointment, and they also must be present during the appointment.

IV sedation is a great choice for patients with medical conditions or those who require longer treatments. This option, along with oral sedation, allows dentists to monitor vitals for the duration of the appointment and provides them easy access to the circulatory system if necessary.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Local Sedation Dentist in Hiram Today!

For individuals with disabilities, our office has oral sedation options that are administered in a comfortable, uncomplicated way. For children and teens under the age of 18, we offer nitrous oxide. And as with all sedation, our goal is to provide a method of lessening anxiety with little to no recovery time.

We’re open Monday-Friday and on Saturdays. If you’re looking for oral sedation or another kind of sedation dentistry around Hiram, Powder Springs or Dallas, come on in and we’ll find the right option for you. You can call us at (770) 505-9898 or reach out online with any questions.

We look forward to getting to know you and your family!