Dr. Alfano Makes Relaxing Easy
Did you know that more than one in ten people have a fear of the dentist or dental procedures that are so intense that they avoid going at all? If this sounds like you, it’s all right. Dr. Alfano has been practicing dentistry for 25 years — he’ll help.
At Balboa Island Dentistry, we want to make sure that your smile stays healthy for years to come. However, for that to happen, you have to visit our office biannually for routine checkups.
We can make sure that your visit isn’t troublesome or scary because we feature dental sedation, which will help you relax during your treatment and reduce the overwhelming sensations associated with your procedure.
Types of Sedation
Dental sedation isn’t something that every dentist can offer. There’s an intensive program that doctors need to complete to have the ability to administer this treatment assistance.
Fortunately, Dr. Alfano is qualified to use two types of sedation: nitrous oxide and oral sedation.
Depending on the severity of your anxiety, your unique needs, and the intensity of the procedure, one of these options will significantly improve your experience.
For patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety, Dr. Alfano will likely recommend nitrous oxide sedation, also known as laughing gas.
Nitrous oxide sedation begins with Dr. Alfano placing a mask over your nose. The mask is connected to a machine that combines oxygen and nitrous oxide into a safe, inhalable mixture. After a few deep breaths, you’ll start to feel calm.
Typically, the effects of the gas take about an hour to wear off. For this reason, we insist that you have someone drive you home following your procedure. It can be a friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone else — as long as you’re not driving.
If your anxiety is moderate or severe, you might benefit from oral sedation. This form of sedation is a simple as taking your morning vitamins — all you need to do is take a small pill about an hour before treatment.
When you arrive, you’ll already be relaxed and ready for your procedure.
Oral sedation will make you feel drowsy, although you’ll still be conscious. Depending on the length of your treatment, the effects of the pill could linger for an hour or so once you leave. It’s because of this that you need somebody to pick you up after treatment.
Who Could Benefit?
If dental sedation sounds like something that could help you, ask Dr. Alfano at your next checkup. He’ll answer any questions you have and be able to determine which form of sedation would work best for your unique situation.
Patients typically choose sedation because they have:
- A gag reflex
- A low pain tolerance
- Sensitive teeth
- An extensive amount of dental work
- A fear or anxiety that prevents them from routine dental appointments
- An inability to sit still in the dentist’s chair
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sedation safe?
Yes! As long as the medication is administered by a licensed dentist, you have nothing to worry about. Rest assured, we’ll monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure to ensure they remain at a normal level. If any problem is detected, we can stop your treatment and begin reversing the sedation at once.
If you suffer from certain conditions, such as obesity or sleep apnea, you may be at risk for complications from sedation. During your initial consultation with Dr. Alfano, make sure to inform him of any medical conditions that you have so he can help determine a safe treatment plan for you.
Will I be unconscious?
One of the most common misconceptions about dental sedation is that you’ll be unconscious during treatment, but this isn’t the case. In fact, you’ll remain awake and responsive throughout your procedure no matter which sedation option you choose. However, you’ll feel deeply relaxed and likely won’t remember the experience later. We often refer to this state of consciousness as “twilight sleep.”