I hate going to the dentist. I haven’t had any one particular bad experience, but I get anxious just thinking about going. My fear of getting cavities is what has kept me going in for my cleanings every six months. Unfortunately, when I went in this week for my cleaning, they found a cavity I need to get filled. Now I’m freaking out. My mom suggests that I get sedated for the appointment, but how long will I sleep? Is it like the recovery room after surgery? I don’t have anyone who can take me home.
Jay, Fayetteville, AR
You are not alone in your fear of having cavities filled. Doctors who offer sedation dentistry understand that fear. They can help you keep your mouth healthy while keeping you comfortable.
Understanding sedation dentistry
There is a notion that when you use sedation to get your dental work done that you are asleep for the visit. This isn’t usually the case. Your doctor will use medication to help you be relaxed and calm during the visit, but you will likely still be awake. It’s as if you are aware of what the dentist is doing, but you don’t care. You may not remember anything after the procedure. Because you are still awake for the work to be done, you can understand instructions from your dentist.
When the dentist is done, you may still feel a little groggy. That’s why it is required that you have someone there with you at your appointment to drive you home after. If you don’t have someone who can be with you, using nitrous oxide for your cavity may be a better option.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, will give you a similar feeling of comfort for your appointment, but as soon as your procedure is done, the sleepy, groggy feeling goes away. Instead of being a pill you take, you breathe it in. This may be a better option for you to get your dental work done without being stranded at the dentist’s office.
Your best place to start is to speak to you dentist’s office about your options. That way you can understand before you go what to expect, what that appointment will look like for you, as well as costs. You’ll be able to ask any questions you have.
This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.