Sedation Dentistry Chapel Hill, NC

Dental anxiety and a fear of the dentist affect many patients and are a leading cause of poor oral health. Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers sedation dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC for patients who suffer from dental anxiety and need help relaxing during their visits with us. Dr. Furgurson or Dr. White will meet with you to discuss your personal fears, concerns, and any previous bad experiences you may have had in the dentist chair.

For some patients, simply having a discussion about what to expect helps a lot. Explaining the procedure and talking about their fears is sometimes all they need to help them feel relaxed and confident during their visit. However, if the dentist feel dental sedation is the best option, we will review their medical history to see if they qualify. We will first find out which, if any, sedation option will be both safe and effective.

About Sedation Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC

Sedation dentistry can play a very important role in helping anxious and fearful people enjoy a healthy and pretty smile. We use both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Both of these sedation options allow you to be awake and responsive during your treatment. This means you will remain conscious and responsive during the entire appointment and will be able to communicate with our dental staff. However, you will feel calm, relaxed, and stress-free. You will most likely have little to no memory of the treatment. During the treatment, patients are closely monitored for their vital signs, ensuring their safety. You will get all these benefits and still be able to receive the dental care you need to maintain, restore or enhance your smile. When you opt for dental sedation, there are also many added benefits:

  • Enhance the effectiveness of anesthetic
  • Decrease gag reflex
  • Eliminate joint and muscle soreness
  • Enable more treatment to be provided in fewer visits
  • The dentist can complete the treatment faster
  • You won’t suffer from painful memories

Types of Sedation Dentistry

We offer two types of dental sedation; nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Both of these forms of sedation are safe and effective at helping patients remain calm and relaxed so they can receive dental treatment.

Oral conscious sedation

Oral conscious sedation is a form of dental sedation where you will take a prescribed medication orally before your dentist appointment to induce a relaxed and anxiety-free state. At a consultation before the appointment, your dentist will assess your health history to determine the appropriate dosage. Then he will give you a prescription that you will fill before your appointment. On the day of the procedure, you will take the prescribed medication at a specified time before your appointment.

The effects of oral conscious sedation gradually wear off after the procedure. Patients must have someone drive them to and from the appointment. It is important to refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery for the rest of the day while sedated. This method offers a safe and effective way to alleviate anxiety and enhance the dental experience for certain patients.

Nitrous oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” offers a mild form of sedation. Dentists have used this form of sedation for many years in dentistry and it is very safe. This odorless gas has helped many of our patients remain relaxed during various dental procedures. It is suitable for patients of all ages because of its safety and effectiveness.

Administered through a tiny cannula that sits right beneath the nose, you will inhale a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. The gas produces a calming effect, reducing your anxiety and discomfort without inducing unconsciousness. We can control the amount you receive during your procedure, allowing for real-time adjustments.

Nitrous oxide has the added benefit of taking effect right away and wearing off fast. This allows you to resume your normal activities after your appointment without any lingering effects. You can drive yourself to and from your dental appointment if using nitrous oxide for sedation. Expect a brief waiting period afterwards simply to become fully awake and alert.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

The following are frequently asked about sedation dentistry. We address common concerns that patients might have about this approach to dental care. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact us.

What should you not do before dental sedation?

It is very important not to eat or drink anything but water for at least 8 hours prior to your dentist appointment. You must have an empty stomach for the sedation to work properly. We also suggest that you wear loose fitting clothing that you are comfortable in for the whole appointment.

How long does dental sedation take to wear off?

We suggest patients wait a full 24 hours to let effects from sedation fully wear off. However, most patients start to begin to feel normal after 6-8 hours. Rest is very important after sedation.

What can I expect during oral sedation?

While sedated, patients should expect to remember and feel nothing. The goal is to make dental procedures as comfortable and pain free as possible. It allows for dentists to work on your mouth without any pain or discomfort.

Will I feel anything with dental sedation?

Patients should not feel or remember anything after the treatment. Dentists use a combination of sedation and anesthetic to make dental procedures pain free and relaxing.

Can you drive after oral sedation?

You should not drive home after dental sedation. We suggest having a family member, friend, or neighbor drive you to and from your appointment. Sedation effects can last long after the procedure so it is not safe to drive directly after your appointment.

Who is a suitable candidate for sedation dentistry?

Suitable candidates for sedation dentistry include individuals with dental anxiety, fear, or phobia, those undergoing extensive dental procedures, individuals with a low pain threshold, or those with difficulty sitting still. It’s also an option for patients with a strong gag reflex or certain medical conditions that won’t allow them to receive traditional dental care.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes, sedation dentistry is safe when administered by trained and experienced dental professionals. Our dentists and staff are highly trained and well educated to use nitrous oxide and oral sedation. We will carefully review your current health, medical history, and other factors to determine the appropriate sedation method. You will be monitored during the procedure to ensure your safety. These steps and considerations make sedation dentistry a secure option for our dental patients.

Are there any side effects with dental sedation?

While rare, potential side effects of dental sedation may include drowsiness, nausea, or temporary memory loss. These effects are typically mild and transient. Serious complications are rare but possible. We will thoroughly evaluate your health and medical history to minimize risks, ensuring a safe sedation experience.

What are the risks of sedation dentistry?

While generally safe, sedation dentistry carries minimal risks. These may include allergic reactions, respiratory issues, or over-sedation. However, these risks are rare. We minimize all risks through careful evaluation, monitoring during the procedure, and adherence to safety protocols.

Can I use dental sedation for routine cleanings?

Yes, dental sedation can be used for routine cleanings, especially if you suffer from dental anxiety or find teeth cleanings uncomfortable. It will promote relaxation and make the experience more comfortable. However, the decision depends on the your health, preferences, and what your Chapel Hill dentist recommends.

Call Today to Learn About Sedation Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC

If you want to have dental work done without the painful memories, soreness from tensing up, and anxiety, then call Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today to learn more about our sedation options. You can reach our Chapel Hill dentist office at 919.736.6175 or you can schedule an appointment online.