Feeling Anxious? We Got You Covered!

Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS

Going to the dentist is enjoyable for a minute few.  Patients usually experience anxiety due to different reasons such as: bad past experiences, fear of the unknown, or listening to “they”.  Here at Spring Lake Dental Group we are equipped with many tools and utilize multiple methods to help us reduce your anxiety.  One method that works for many is distraction from the procedures at hand which can aid the patient in relaxing.  We can suggest listening to music, play movies overhead, drape one with blankets, or provide stress balls.  Nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation, also known as “laughing gas”, is another method to curve anxiety.  A nose cup is placed over the nose; oxygen is initially administered followed by nitrous oxide.  Nitrous oxide oxygen is safe and is very minimally metabolized in the body.  The patient may start to giggle and/or have a tingling effect in hands and feet.  He or she is aware of their surroundings and able to respond to commands.  Before the procedure is complete, the patient is placed back on oxygen for 5 minutes and leaves the appointment with full function of their faculties.  Halcion, or benzodiazepine triazolam, is another option for anesthesia. Halcion is administered as a powder under the tongue and in doses of 0.125, 0.25, or 0.50 mg.  The patient may be groggy, may fall asleep, can take directions, but will not remember the procedure.  However, I am aware of only one patient remembering their treatment.  As with any drug, there are contraindications for its use, such as hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines and pregnancy.  Medical history will be reviewed as with all dental care and the patient will be notified if they are candidates for receiving the drug.  If a patient consents to the administration of halcion, he/she must be accompanied by an escort who will stay during the entire procedure and drive the patient afterwards.  All financial transactions, post-opt care instructions, and questions are addressed before the drug is given as the patient will still present with sedative effects following dental care.  The patient will be escorted to their vehicle by wheelchair.

Although your anxiety is justified, we are here to do what we to alleviate those feelings.We can will take our time to see what works for you and hopefully make you more comfortable and confident to receive dental care with us.

So remember, be true to your teeth or they will be false to you.