At Lake District Family Dentistry, it is very important to us that our patients feel comfortable and safe. We understand that patients may feel anxious about dental work, so we offer a variety of options to manage anxiety or just to make the patient’s experience more relaxing.
Occasionally, fear can prevent us from doing what we should do, like going to the dentist for regular dental checkups. Avoiding preventative dental visits can lead to undetected dental problems, such as tooth decay. Our hope is that patients know that we empathize and understand that what they are feeling is real. We offer several different types of sedation to help these patients to feel more at ease and to alleviate as much of their stress as possible.
Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)
At Lake District Family Dentistry, it is always our goal for patients to have a pleasant experience. We offer all patients the option to relax with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help calm their anxieties during dental procedures. It is called “laughing gas” because many patients feel a happy or euphoric feeling when experiencing this type of sedation. While being administered nitrous, patients are still awake and aware of their surroundings but feel quite relaxed, calm, and at ease. Patients are fully cognizant before they leave the dental operators and can drive home with no residual effects of the nitrous.
Oral Conscious Sedation
For our more fearful patients, we offer oral conscious sedation as well (oral meaning “taken by mouth” and conscious meaning “aware of surroundings”). This type of sedation is typically prescribed in pill or liquid suspension form and can be taken prior to arriving for the dental appointment. With this type of sedation, patients are escorted by a friend or family member to and from their appointments. They are typically aware of the dental procedure but may feel so relaxed that they choose take a nap!
We also offer intravenous or “IV” sedation for our severely dental phobic patients, as well as for our special needs patients and those who have a significant amount of dental needs and just want to “ wake up and be finished”! We work with a team of nurse anesthetists who provide the IV sedation medications under thorough monitoring for patients who have been medically approved for sedation. Our patients can have all of their dental procedures while being sedated and awake without any recollection of the procedure! A friend or family member will escort the patient home just as one would for an outpatient medical procedure.
We also offer a non-chemical therapy called NuCalm as a great alternative to anyone who is sensitive to medication. NuCalm allows the body to go into deeper stages of sleep right in the dental office chair with ease and helps to bring the brain into a relaxed state. The meditation-like state experienced with the NuCalm system does not require our patients to have a designated driver after the dental procedure. The system uses four phases to achieve its sedation-like result:
- Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA).
- Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES).
- Headphones with binaural beats.
- Light-blocking eye mask.
The GABA phase of NuCalm therapy involves the administration of a nutrient supplement or topical cream to mimic your body’s natural sleep preparation process. The CES phase helps the GABA receptors to open up, which helps patients to fall asleep. Finally, music with binaural beats is played through noise blocking headsets, and light-blocking glasses are worn to provide an optimum sleep and meditation atmosphere.
Don’t let your dental fears keep you from receiving proper oral health care. The team at Lake District Family Dentistry wants to help you take care of yourself without anxiety. Our patient’s experience should be one of comfort and ease. If you have dental anxiety, ask one of our dentists about which option would be best for you!