How does sedation dentistry relieve dental fear and anxiety?

The healthy, showstopping smile you’ve always wanted could be on the other side of your fear and anxiety. If you fear the dentist’s office, you’re not alone. Dentists are among the most commonly feared health professionals. Every year, 30 to 40 million Americans dodge the dentist due to anxiety and fear.

People who suffer from dental fear and anxiety often suffer from serious oral health problems or dissatisfaction with the appearance of their smile as well. Although these fears are very real, they are also surmountable.

Don’t allow fear and anxiety to drive you away from your aesthetic and wellness aspirations. Sedation dentistry helps patients relax in the dentist’s chair and helps eliminate apprehensiveness and phobias. Sedation can make even the most invasive oral health procedures virtually stress- and pain-free in conjunction with local anesthesia.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” is a safe, mild form of sedation. Nitrous oxide is administered through a small, comfortable mask fitted on the nose. When inhaled, nitrous oxide causes patients to feel relaxed but still conscious and in control of their body during dental procedures.

After the procedure, dentists administer five minutes of pure oxygen to return your lungs to homeostasis. In most cases, the effects of nitrous oxide are short and minimal. Patients can drive themselves home afterward.

Oral Sedation

If needles terrify you and you require something more robust than nitrous oxide, oral sedation may be the right choice. The FDA safely regulates oral sedatives because they are prescription drugs. 

Oral sedatives are easily administered in pill form an hour or so before your appointment. Patients who take oral sedatives feel sluggish and sleepy but are awake and responsive enough to listen and respond to their dentist’s instructions.

Suppose you are incredibly fearful of your prospective dental procedure or just want stronger oral sedation. In that case, you may be prescribed a strong dose of benzodiazepines for a partial or total loss of memory of the procedure. Prescribed benzodiazepines are ideal for patients who have a phobia of needles and the dentist.

Oral sedatives can make you feel out of it, so please invite someone who can responsibly drive you to the appointment and back home.

Intravenous Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation involves a sedative given directly in the vein. Many patients choose IV sedation to be unaware of dental procedures and operations. This type of sedation is beneficial for reducing the stress of invasive surgeries, such as dental grafts and implants. 

IV sedation is the most potent form of sedation dentistry and is chose in hopes of: 

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Increasing relaxation
  • Partial or total amnesia of the procedure

It may take you a while to snap out of the effects of IV sedation. Please arrange for someone reliable to drive you home after receiving intravenous sedation safely.

Schedule a Consultation in Santa Cruz, CA

The idea of the dentist can send shivers down your spine, but it doesn’t have to. Overcome fear with the assistance of safe, state-of-the-art sedation dentistry at Dr. Peabody’s office. Message us online or call 831-457-0343 at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment at our location in Santa Cruz, CA.

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From Dr. Peabody

I love being a dentist, and for 33 years I have tremendously enjoyed providing dental care for you as well as the relationships we’ve formed.  I have decided to retire from the private practice of dentistry so that I can spend more time with my family.

I have interviewed several quality dentists, and I am delighted that I found an outstanding dentist that I know will fit my current patients and the community of Santa Cruz.

With sincere confidence, I am happy to introduce Dr. Martha Catalina Payne. (Dr. Cat)

Please visit her website:
to learn more about her and schedule your next appointment with her.

I will work closely with Dr. Cat in this transition so she has a thorough understanding of each patient’s dental needs.

I am confident that you will enjoy Dr. Cat as much as I have enjoyed getting to know her. The team is also quite impressed with her, and you will continue to see them at your reserved dental care visits.

Dr. Guy Peabody DDS