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By Dwight D. Peccora, DDS on

A patient getting dental sedation.

Despite the many benefits of professional dental care, it is safe to say that most people don’t look forward to going to the dentist. For some, the dread of going to a dental appointment is truly intense; this is classified as dental anxiety. Dental anxiety may stop a person from getting treatment that is vital to the health of their smile.

At Fort Bend Dental, we offer sedation dentistry to address dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry eases stress for our Missouri City, TX, Richmond, TX, and Fort Bend County patients so that they can undergo dental care in complete physical and emotional comfort. Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective solution for those who have neglected professional dental treatment due to dental anxiety.

Candidates for Sedation Dentistry

Sedation has long been used in the dental field to ease patient comfort. Traditionally, dentists have relied on sedation, or the use of anesthesia, to eliminate pain while a patient undergoes lengthy or complicated restorative dentistry treatment. At Fort Bend Dental, we use the same methods to extend the benefits of sedation dentistry to patients with dental anxiety. Ideal candidates include:

  • Individuals who fear dental work
  • People who have neglected professional dental care due to anxiety
  • Patients with an intense gag reflex
  • Individuals with conditions (such as Parkinson’s disease) that make it difficult to control movements

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

There are many sedation dentistry techniques available, but at Fort Bend Dental, we prefer to offer our patients nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, which is commonly known as laughing gas, relaxes the body and eases stress so that patients feel completely comfortable throughout their dental treatment.

Nitrous oxide is administered via inhalation. At the start of their appointment, we will place a small mask or nosepiece on the patient. Patients will gently inhale the nitrous oxide. Within just a few minutes, the patient’s mood will be altered. Many describe feeling a heavy and relaxed sensation that spreads through the body. Patients may also feel slightly numb in their fingers and toes. Nitrous oxide can be used as needed throughout a patient’s treatment so that they remain relaxed for the duration of the appointment.

When treatment is complete, the mask will be removed. It generally only takes five to 10 minutes for the effects of nitrous oxide to wear off. This type of sedation dentistry should not cause any side effects or complications. Because the effects of nitrous oxide do not linger, patients will be able to drive themselves home from their dental appointment.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry, in general, can make dental care more comfortable and relaxed for our patients. More specifically, nitrous oxide is beneficial to patients in a number of unique ways:

  • Nitrous oxide takes effect almost instantaneously
  • Nitrous oxide is made up of natural gasses that won’t cause an allergic reaction
  • Administration of nitrous oxide does not require any needles
  • Patients will remain awake and aware while under the effects of nitrous oxide so they can respond to dental instructions
  • Nitrous oxide wears off quickly, allowing patients to drive themselves home

Get in Touch

If you have let dental anxiety prevent you from getting professional dental care that promotes a healthy and beautiful smile, it is time to consider sedation dentistry. To find out if sedation dentistry is right for you, contact our team at Fort Bend Dental or call (281) 336-9971 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Missouri City, Richmond, and throughout Fort Bend County.

Posted on behalf of Fort Bend Dental

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