Sedation Dentistry and Conquering Your Fear of the Dentist


Millions of people are affected by fear and anxiety when they think about dental treatment. It’s a very common concern, and prevents many individuals from getting necessary dental care. Dr. Michael Fulbright and our entire team here at Fulbright Cosmetic Dentistry are committed to helping you feel as relaxed and at ease as possible during your dental appointment. That’s why Dr.Fulbright offers a range of sedation dentistry techniques that can help you experience treatment without pain or anxiety.

Dental anxiety can be due to a number of factors, including fear of needles, dental equipment, or the sounds associated with dental care, as well as general nervousness or a bad experience with a previous dentist. Sedation dentistry can be very beneficial for patients who experience mild to severe levels of anxiety, in addition to those who are undergoing more complex dental procedures.

The sedation dentistry option that will be used during your treatment will depend on your dental needs, your anxiety level, any existing medical conditions, and your personal preference. Dr. Fulbright will carefully explain all aspects of each sedation technique before the procedure so that you will know what to expect before making your decision.

Oral conscious sedation is the most popular type of sedation dentistry performed at our practice – and it involves no needles! A small pill before the procedure will put you in a state of deep relaxation; however, you will remain conscious and able to communicate during treatment. When the sedation wears off, you should have little to no memory of the treatment at all.

IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, will likely put you into a deep sleep. Anti-anxiety drugs will be delivered through a very small needle during the procedure. As with oral conscious sedation, you will be monitored throughout the treatment to make sure everything is running smoothly. You should also have no memory of the treatment once it’s complete.

Other forms of sedation we utilize at our practice include options such as nitrous oxide and anxylosis. Nitrous oxide (commonly known as “laughing gas”) works by the delivery of a gas breathed in through your nostrils. It relaxes you without putting you to sleep, and typically wears off quickly after the procedure. Anxylosis involves the taking of an anti-anxiety medication such as valium, or a combination of the medication with nitrous oxide.

Stay tuned for the next blog in our series on sedation dentistry, and how it can help you conquer your fear of the dentist! If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

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