Posted . by jheaton

Would you rather stand in line at the DMV than attend a dental checkup? Would you prefer base jumping off of the Grand Canyon to having a cavity filled? Does the thought of climbing Mount Everest in the winter sound less terrifying to you than a root canal?

You are not alone. Studies show that approximately 15-20 percent of people have a very real fear of going to the dentist. At Desert Family Dental, we understand your fear, and are here to help. We offer sedation dentistry for our patients who suffer from dental anxiety. If you experience mild stress or severe anxiety over dental visits, call our Mesa, AZ dental office at (480) 838-4185 today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Dr. Lee offers sedation dentistry to his patients who fear going to the dentist or find it hard to relax in the dentist’s chair. Some patients with very low pain tolerance or sensitive gag reflex may also require sedation. When you come in for a consultation, the doctor will talk with you about your anxiety and recommend one of several sedative options to help you feel calm and relaxed while you are in the chair.

We offer sedation for all procedures from simple cleanings and filling cavities to more complicated procedures like root canal therapy or placing dental implants. The doctors are even able to complete several treatments, that would normally have to be done in multiple visits, in just one day while patients are sedated. Sedatives work by reducing your brain’s ability to recognize pain and discomfort while easing feelings of stress and fear. By the time the sedative wears off, most patients find they have little or no memory of the procedure.

Forms of Sedation We Offer

At Desert Family Dental we offer three different forms of sedation. The doctor will help you decide which option is right for you, based on the procedure being performed and your level of stress and anxiety.

  • Nitrous Oxide – Sometimes called “laughing gas” due to the feeling of euphoria it can induce, nitrous oxide is a gas inhaled through a mask, leaving the patient feeling calm and relaxed. The effects of the gas begin to diminish as soon as the mask is removed, and you can return to work or any other activities.
  • Oral Sedation – If the doctor recommends oral sedation, you will take a sedative in pill form prior to your appointment. The sedative will begin to relax you almost immediately, and it wears off slowly, so you will need a responsible driver to bring you for your appointment and take you home afterward. As the doctor works, you will be in a state of mental and physical relaxation. While under sedation, you can converse with the doctor, but you will be unaware of any details of your treatment. Most patients who use oral sedation can resume normal activities by evening.
  • IV Sedation – This is the deepest form of sedation, and it is typically used only for patients with extreme anxiety or those undergoing lengthy or multiple procedures. The sedative is administered intravenously, meaning into your bloodstream, putting you into a state of deep relaxation that will last throughout the procedure. The advantage of IV sedation is that the level of medication can be increased immediately if necessary. Our staff will monitor your pulse and other vital signs to ensure your safety and comfort. The effects of IV sedation wear off gradually, with most patients resuming normal activities the next day, so you will need a responsible driver to take you home after your procedure.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

One of the biggest benefits of sedation dentistry is that the doctor can perform several procedures in one visit, when normally several visits would be necessary. If your anxiety has kept you from attending regular checkups, and you now need to have several cavities filled and a couple of root canals, the doctor can complete all of the procedures in one visit. Many patients spend five or six hours undergoing a very long procedure or several short ones, and when they are finished and the sedation wears off, they swear it took no more than ten minutes.

That brings us to the greatest benefit of sedation dentistry. Most patients, when the sedative wears off, have little or no memory of the procedure at all. This means that patients who previously avoided the dental office as they would a field of poison ivy can now enjoy a relaxed, comfortable experience at Desert Family dental.

Call Us for a Consultation

If you have spent years being terrified of visiting the dentist,Dr. Lee will put you at ease. When you are ready to have your teeth taken care of without fear, call our Mesa, AZ dental office at (480) 838-4185 and schedule a consultation with one of the doctors.