Overcome Dental Anxiety with Sedation Dentistry

Do you suffer from dental anxiety that keeps you from getting the oral care you need? At Freedom Dental, Cheng Zhu, DMD, is one of only a few general dentists who is licensed in California to provide IV conscious sedation dentistry, so you can visit the dentist without the anxiety and discomfort you usually associate with your appointments. Call the office in Fairfield, California, or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation and determine if sedation dentistry is right for you.

Sedation Dentistry Q & A

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medications to alleviate anxiety and discomfort associated with dental visits. Inhaled gas, oral medications, or IV sedatives help you relax and stay calm in the dentist’s chair. 

Dr. Zhu has taken a lot of time and placed a lot of effort into fine-tuning the sedation experience. His goal is to help you relieve anxiety but not leave you feeling dizzy or lightheaded afterward.

Are there different types of sedation dentistry?

Dr. Zhu offers three types of sedation dentistry:

Happy Person

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is simple to administer and has no lasting effects, so you can drive home after your appointment. You inhale it through a mask that fits over your nose. 

Nitrous oxide begins to take effect within minutes; you’ll notice a great sense of relaxation and a warm, tingling sensation in your fingers and toes. You don’t have to give the office prior warning if you want to use nitrous oxide during your appointment.

Oral sedation

Oral sedation often helps ease the fear in people with severe dental anxiety. You take a prescribed medication 30-60 minutes prior to your visit. 

Though you are conscious during oral sedation, you aren’t alert or aware of your surroundings. You can answer questions and function, but you feel completely relaxed. 

You will need to alert Freedom Dental if you’d like to try oral sedation prior to your visit. Dr. Zhu will call a prescription in to a pharmacy of your choice. You’ll also need to arrange transportation to and from your appointment as the sedative makes it dangerous to drive.

IV conscious sedation

With IV conscious sedation, Dr. Zhu administers a sedative intravenously. You’ll feel highly relaxed and oblivious to what’s happening around you, but you’ll be able to respond to basic commands. Your vitals are monitored throughout your visit to ensure your safety. 

You need to alert Freedom Dental prior to your appointment that you’d like to try IV sedation as it requires a longer appointment time. You’ll also need to arrange a ride home.

Should I consider sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can make your visit much more pleasant. You might select sedation dentistry if you have:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • A low pain tolerance
  • A sensitive gag reflex
  • Difficulty sitting still

Sedation dentistry, particularly nitrous oxide, is a great option for children who fear the dentist or have trouble tolerating appointments. 

If anxiety is preventing you from seeing a dentist, you’re likely at risk of potentially serious dental concerns, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Sedation dentistry can protect you from experiencing future oral health complications.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, call Freedom Dental at (707) 416-0626 or book an appointment online today.