Many people avoid going to the dentist because they’re nervous about having work done. Some dental anxiety stems from a fear of pain or finding out something is wrong. Other people worry about racking up expenses or being rushed to make decisions. You might be prone to dental anxiety if you have had a negative experience like this in the past.
Ironically, neglecting your oral health makes you more likely to develop problems. For instance, gingivitis is easily treated and reversed if diagnosed early. However, if you never get your teeth cleaned, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, which can be painful and eventually causes tooth loss.
But knowing this doesn’t necessarily alleviate dental anxiety. What you need is a solution that makes you more at ease in the dentist’s chair. That’s where sedation dentistry comes in. Here’s what you need to know about making every dentist visit more comfortable.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
- Mild sedation: You remain awake, but you feel sleepy and relaxed.
- Moderate sedation: You’re still able to communicate, but you may not remember much afterward.
- Deep sedation: The medication takes you to the edge of consciousness, but your dentist can wake you as needed.
- General anesthesia: You are completely unconscious during the procedure and unable to communicate.
What Sedation Methods are Used?
You may receive a sedative using one of these methods:
- Inhalation: Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild to moderate sedative. Recovery is quick, so you can resume normal activities immediately.
- Oral: Taking a pill is another needle-free way to achieve mild to moderate sedation.
- Intramuscular (IM): Injecting medication into the muscle of your thigh or upper arm relaxes you quickly prior to your dental procedure.
- Intravenous (IV): Lengthy or in-depth procedures may call for general anesthesia using an IV.
Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
This could be a great option for you if:
- You have dental anxiety.
- You have a low pain threshold.
- You have a strong gag reflex.
- You are undergoing a long procedure or deep cleaning.
- You need your wisdom teeth extracted.
- You’re getting dental implants or a root canal.
- Your child can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair.
How Do I Find a Sedation Dentist I Can Trust?
Park 56 Dental is IV-certified and licensed by the American Dental Association to perform sedation dentistry. This means we have received specialty training by the state Board of Dental Examiners to administer controlled medications that alter a patient’s consciousness to provide a comfortable, pain-free treatment.
If this sounds like the experience you want to have at the dentist, please contact us today at (212) 826-2322 to find out which type of sedation dentistry may be right for you.
For several weeks in early 2020, dentists in New York City and elsewhere across the globe were required to stop providing non-urgent care in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. As we resume our “new normal,” many patients are asking—is it still too early to visit the dentist?
Rest assured that the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now allowing patients to return to the dentist for routine cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and other elective services—with a few changes in place. Here’s what you should know before visiting the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is My Dentist’s Office Safe?
Germs are everywhere, but healthcare facilities, including dentist’s offices, have always been among the cleanest places you could go. Many safety guidelines have been the norm for years, including regularly washing your hands, sterilizing tools, and discarding certain gear and needles after a single use.
In light of the pandemic, many dentists, including Park 56 Dental in NYC, are doing even more. Here are some of the steps we’re taking to ensure patient safety and comfort:
- Conducting pre-visit health screenings and contactless temperature checks for all visitors and staff
- Making masks and hand sanitizer available upon request
- Staggering check-ins to minimize wait times and help maintain social distancing
- Holding virtual appointments to answer questions or conduct follow-ups
How “Essential” are Dentist Visits?
The fact that dentist offices were shut down for everything but emergency procedures could make some people think that routine teeth cleanings aren’t that important. However, the condition of your teeth and gums can greatly impact your overall health. In fact, putting off routine cleanings could compound dental problems and other health issues in the months and years to come.
The practical precautions that dentist offices are currently taking are effective at reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission while allowing you to care for your teeth and gums. Skipping your appointments any longer than necessary is simply not worth the risk to your oral health.
What to Consider Before Going to the Dentist
Social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. In short, cancel your dentist appointment if you’re not feeling well. You’ll be sent home if you come in with a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. You should also stay home if you think you have been around anyone who has the coronavirus, whether or not they have tested positive.
Park 56 Dental in NYC is open for business! Anything that can be done remotely, such as payments or health questionnaires, will be handled over the phone or via email. We are taking COVID-19 restrictions seriously and place your safety above all else. Please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to ask questions about our coronavirus precautions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Are you among the millions of Americans who avoid the dentist out of fear and anxiety? You might be nervous about feeling pain, being rushed to make a decision, incurring high costs, or having your concerns neglected. You might be especially prone to dental anxiety if you had a negative experience in the past.
Ironically, skipping routine cleanings could lead to oral health problems, resulting in more costly, in-depth treatment later on. Here are the top tips for reducing dental anxiety so you can take care of your smile without fear.
- Speak up: Tell your dentist about feeling anxious. It may be possible to adapt your treatment to make it more pleasant for you.
- Use hand signals: Inform your dentist that you will signal with your hands to communicate your needs. This gives you the right to raise your hand if you feel uncomfortable at any time. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your dentist to ease off or pause the procedure.
- Focus on your breathing: If you’re nervous, you may involuntarily hold your breath. The resulting decrease in oxygen can make your anxiety worse. Close your eyes and focus on slow, regular breaths during your dental procedure.
- Listen to music: It can be helpful to shut out the world with a pair of headphones. Play your favorite album or listen to soothing songs to reduce your tension.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar before the appointment: These substances might make you even more jittery, so opt for a high-protein meal instead, which has a calming effect.
- Set a low-stress appointment time: Don’t schedule your dental visit at a time when you will feel rushed or under pressure. This might mean taking the day off work or setting a Saturday appointment so you can take your time without fear of running late.
- Try a new dentist: If your previous provider wasn’t sensitive to your needs, it might be time to find a different dentist. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations to increase your confidence.
- Ask about sedation dentistry: Dental sedation is the best way to reduce stress for people who struggle with anxiety at the dentist. You don’t lose consciousness, but you become so relaxed that you feel completely at ease with the experience. Some patients even fall asleep in the dentist’s chair! Depending on the level of sedation you receive, you may also not remember the procedure afterward.
Park 56 Dental is pleased to help our patients overcome their fear of the dentist in our spa-like, patient-centered New York dentist office. We offer different levels of sedation to meet your needs, from inhaling nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to swallowing a pill to receiving conscious IV sedation with help from our board-certified anesthesiologist.
When you leave our office, you’ll feel so pampered—you won’t believe you once dreaded trips to the dentist! Contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to learn more about our sedation dentistry options.