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Let’s just state it outright: going to the dentist makes a lot of people nervous – 30 to 40 million Americans, by some estimates – so if you face this particular challenge yourself, you are in good company. Whether managing some dental anxiety or living with full-blown dental phobia, many anxious patients appreciate having the option to choose sedation dentistry when they visit Deerfoot Dental. Dr. Grovenstein is certified to administer in-office nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation to make your dental treatment as comfortable and low-stress as possible.
Some of the most common myths about sedation dentistry sound about as scary as going to the dentist must feel to a fearful patient. One standard assumption is that sedation dentistry equals immediately being “knocked unconscious” once they’ve settled into the dental chair. This is not the way conscious sedation works – the word “conscious” is even part of the name – so how does it work?
Nitrous oxide – sometimes called “laughing gas”– is a mild form of conscious sedation breathed through a mask. You are awake but relaxed, and sometimes a bit drowsy or giggly. You can drive yourself to and from your appointment even if you choose nitrous oxide – Dr. Grovenstein will have you breathe pure oxygen for several minutes when your treatment is over to clear your head. (In fact, you may feel even more alert than you did when you arrived!)
Oral conscious sedation is when Dr. Grovenstein prescribes a sedative prior to your dental procedure. This level of sedation falls under the minimal to moderate category, depending on the dose.
You are usually directed to take your sedative about an hour before your dental procedure to ensure it has taken effect by the time Dr. Grovenstein is ready to start your treatment. Some patients become drowsy, but still remain awake; others fall asleep, but can be awakened easily with a gentle touch or shake from the Deerfoot Dental team.
You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment if you choose oral conscious sedation – and this is not optional. Your safety is of utmost importance to Dr. Grovenstein. The ideal situation is to have someone stay with you for a couple of hours until the effects of the sedative have worn off, but we understand that is not possible for everyone to arrange. Transportation is the most important thing when using oral conscious sedation dentistry.
If you have any questions about general dentistry or would like to schedule an appointment with your Deerfoot Dental, Dr. Grovenstein at Deerfoot Dental, give us a call today at (205) 810-0844 or request an appointment online below. We can’t wait to see you smile!