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Sedation Dentistry: Relaxation is Possible in the Dental Chair

November 4, 2019

Woman in dental clinic wearing a nose mask

Dental anxiety can be rough.  It paralyzes patients from seeing the dentist, taking care of dental problems or prevent them from doing esthetic dentistry to improve their smiles.  At the Drs. Boyd in midtown Manhattan, we work with patients to help manage their anxiety but many times patients need something extra for relaxation.  This is why we offer our patients the benefit of sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves taking a medication to help patients relax during dental treatment.  Not all forms of sedation are the same.  There are a varying degrees of sedation including mild, moderate, deep and general anesthesia.  Depending on the level of treatment and the needs of the patient, we tailor the level of sedation.

Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Many patients require some form of sedation for dental procedures.  Some reasons for dental sedation include fear of the dentist that does not allow any treatment, severe gag reflex, a very low pain threshold, extremely sensitive teeth or an extensive amount of dental work needed.  We need to complete a thorough review of your medical history and current medications to determine what form of dental sedation is possible and safe.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

One of the most common dental sedatives is nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas.  A patient wears a nasal mask and breaths in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide to achieve a mild relaxion.  One of the best aspects of laughing gas is that it works really fast and wears off really fast.  This means that you will not have a recovery after the procedure and you will be able to leave on your own.  Many patients use nitrous oxide with cleanings and other minor and major dental procedures.

Oral Sedation

This type of sedation can vary from mild to moderate depending on the dosage of the drug used.  The drugs most commonly used for this type of sedation are Valium, Ativan or Xanax.  Taking one of these pills will make you relaxed and a little drowsy.  We generally have patients take one pill the night before to ensure a good sleep and one the next day an hour before their scheduled appointment.  These drugs are the most commonly recognized methods of sedation dentistry.  We recommend that someone is available to escort you home after your appointment.

IV Sedation

When a patient requires a deeper and more profound form of sedation, we opt for IV sedation.  We work with a dental anesthesiologist that administers IV drugs to achieve deep relaxation in a safe environment for our patients.  We can administer drugs that will range from moderate to deep sedation.  Patients will need a period of recovery after the drugs wear off or are reversed.  For IV sedation, we require an escort home from your appointment.

Regardless of the severity of your dental phobias, the Drs. Boyd have a solution for you.  We can discuss the best form of treatment for your needs so that you have a great dental experience.  Contact us at (212) 755-9055 to find out more information on sedation dentistry.

How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

October 23, 2019

Frightened woman at the dentist office.

Let’s face it, the dentist office is not the first place people tend to want to go.  Most dental procedures are not painful but even just examining someone’s teeth can cause a level of anxiety.  Dental fear and dental anxiety is a problem that faces as many as 20% of Americans. Unfortunately the problem often snowballs, the less people go (or never at all) the worse and more serious any potential problems will tend to be.   This is why at Drs. Boyd we take every step to ensure that patients feel comfortable and we take away their anxiety.  Here we will discuss what brings about dental phobia and how we can deal with it!

What Causes Fear of the Dentist?

There are many different reasons that people feel stressed at the dental office.  Some of the reasons are fear of pain, fear of injection or the injection won’t anesthetize the area.  Many people also have a feeling of being helpless and a loss of personal space.  Some people feel embarrassed if they have problems because of the social stigma behind unhealthy teeth.  Regardless of the reason the Drs. Boyd have many ways to manage dental phobias and make for a comfortable, pleasant experience.

Pain is Not Relative

Pain is a huge factor in dental anxiety and not everyone experiences pain the same way.  Some things that seem like nothing to one person can be severe for another.  There are a number of different factors that impact how someone perceives pain. For example, people with red hair have a greater pain experience than people without red hair.  What matters?  If you feel pain, we believe you and we will do what we have to so that you don’t!  The days of the dentist making you suffer through a procedure or saying its not so bad are GONE.

Talk About It!

Bringing dental anxiety out into the open is a great way to alleviate most of your stress.  Even on your first call to our office, bring it up to our team.  It is important to discuss with Dr. Boyd what about dentistry makes you nervous.  This brings the fear out into the open and we can begin to discuss how we will manage it!  Having an open dialog with your dentist will also establish trust.  Something we hold in high regard.

Just Breath

Breathing and relaxation techniques can be an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety.    Inhale slowly and deep through your nose.  While doing this make sure to keep your muscles relaxed.  Exhale through your mouth slowly while again keeping everything relaxed.  Another trick is to focus breathing through your belly.  Breath in and expand your abdomen while keeping your chest relatively still.  Also having an equal time inhaling and exhaling, helps focus your breathing and increase oxygen.

When we need a little more, the Drs. Boyd have other methods such as nitrous oxide, oral sedation and IV sedation with an anesthesiologist.  Dental anxiety is a very real problem for many people but the Drs. Boyd can manage it and make your experience a comfortable and relaxing one!

Call us at (212)755-9055 to schedule your visit with us.