I’ve always been a bit uneasy in the dental chair. My dentist told me I needed a filling and I broke down crying. We scheduled for the following week, but I had a panic attack and canceled. I did that two more times and now my dentist just asked me to come in so he could look at it. He was worried it will turn into an infection and he didn’t want me going untreated. When I went in, he said the decay has grown and now I need a crown, but it’s not an infection yet. He’s suggesting I get dental sedation. He gave me two options and I just can’t seem to figure out which is best. I can’t remember everything he said and I’ve caused enough trouble so don’t want to bother him again. But, I don’t want to make the wrong choice. Can you help me?
It sounds like you have a very caring dentist who is looking out for your best interests. He’s a keeper. He’s also correct that dental sedation can make a huge difference for you. I’ll go over the two levels of sedation with you now.
Sedation Level One: Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous is sometimes referred to as laughing gas. Your dentist will put a nose piece on you and put on the nitrous oxide gas. It will make you feel floaty and relaxed. This helps the most with people who have minor anxiety and just need to take the edge off their fear.
Then, when the procedure is finished he’ll turn off the nitrous and on the oxygen. You’ll be clear-headed again and able to get on with your day as normal.
Sedation Level Two: Oral Conscious Sedation
This is for people with a higher level of anxiety. You’ll take a simple pill before your appointment. This will make you quite loopy and relaxed. You won’t have a care in the world. Most people using oral conscious sedation sleep through their appointment and have little memory of the procedure itself. However, if you don’t want to sleep, you don’t have to.
You’ll be so completely relaxed you’ll need someone to drive him to and from your appointment. They’ll also need to stay with you after your appointment for several hours until you are completely lucid and steady on your feet.
Some dentists, Dr. Saleh included, have a third level of sedation known as I.V. Sedation. This is for patients with debilitating anxiety.
Don’t Put Off Your Treatment
I’d pick the level of sedation that makes you not worry about your appointment anymore. It’s very important you get this decay taken care of. Your dentist is right that it could blow up into an infection. These are considered dental emergencies and can turn life-threatening if you don’t deal with them right away.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Portland Dentist Dr. Mo Saleh.