People avoid seeing the dentist for a multitude of reasons. One of the most common is fear.
This fear can present in a number of ways and at a number of levels, from mild anxiety to all out phobia. Some estimates indicate that as many as half of all adults in the U.S. experience dental anxiety at a level that causes them to miss out on crucial preventative appointments. Unfortunately, without regular preventative care, dental problems are far more likely to develop and go unchecked. By the time a person with dental phobia is desperate enough to seek care, they may be in severe pain and need extensive reconstructive work – which only perpetuates the cycle of fear.
At WinningSmiles, we are devoted to breaking that cycle of fear and making it easier for everyone to get the dental care they need. In addition to offering a calm and relaxing setting with compassionate providers and the latest in comfortable modern dentistry, we are proud to be the only dental practice in Fontana and the surrounding areas to offer sedation dentistry.
Three Levels of Sedation for Differing Needs
We offer three different levels of sedation so that you can work closely with your dentist to identify the sedation level that will best fit your needs. With sedation dentistry, you can get the ongoing care you need to stay healthy and prevent problems from developing in the first place.
Mild Sedation – Nitrous Oxide
You might be more familiar with nitrous oxide by its other common name – laughing gas! Don’t worry, though. Nitrous oxide won’t actually make you laugh uncontrollably or anything like that.
What it will do is gently calm and relax you, numb sensations, and make your appointment seem to fly by. We can adjust the dosage throughout your appointment to ensure that you are comfortable and in control at all times.
One of the aspects of nitrous that people like best is how quickly it wears off once we remove the mask. In most cases, you’ll be able to drive yourself home from your appointment and carry on with the rest of your day without any lingering effects.
Moderate Sedation – Oral Sedation
For people who are dealing with a higher level of anxiety, we can discuss oral sedation. This technique involves taking an anti-anxiety medication by mouth prior to your appointment. The medication helps you relax so you can get the care you need. We can also use it combination with nitrous.
The medication allows you to remain conscious so you can communicate with your dentist, but it helps to erase the sounds and sensations of the dental office from your memory. Following your visit, you are unlikely to remember any details from your appointment.
If you opt for this level of sedation, you will need a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment. You’ll also want to take the rest of the day off while the medication wears off and leaves your system.
Deep Sedation – IV Sedation
This is the strongest level of sedation we offer. We’ll place an IV in your arm and then introduce a calming medication that takes hold quickly. You’ll sleep through the appointment and wake up after your treatment is complete.
Your safety is important to us, and that's why we've taken the added step of bringing in a certified anesthesiologist who will monitor your vital signs and adjust the flow of medication as needed during your treatment. Depending on your needs, we can provide a level of sedation that is close to general anesthesia.
As with oral sedation, you will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment, and you should plan on relaxing the rest of the day.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?
Has it been a while since your last appointment? That’s okay. We are here to help break the cycle of dental anxiety.
Call our Fontana dental practice to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled doctors. We’ll learn more about your needs and help you determine what level of sedation will allow you to comfortably and confidently get the care you need to stay healthy.