Going to the dentist shouldn’t be a frightening experience. However, if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while or you know you will need extensive dental work, the fear of pain can keep you from setting the appointment. The good news is that you are not alone and dental professionals understand that some of their patients are afraid to improve their smile and they offer several different pain management techniques to try to alleviate those fears.
Traditionally, dentist used novocain injections to numb the area of the mouth where they were working. Patients who had a bad experience with novocain and steered clear of the dental chair because they didn’t like the discomfort from the shot or the feeling of numbness in their mouth may not know about the new ways dentists are managing their patients’ pain.
While nitrous oxide was once only used for young children and dental surgeries, it is now available for most dental patients for cosmetic dentistry in Richmond, VA. Nitrous oxide is often referred to as laughing gas and can make patients feel happy. Some people describe the feeling as drunk, euphoric or floating. The gas doesn’t have an odor or taste but many dentists add flavor to their nitrous oxide. If you choose this method, the dentist may not need to use novocain for your procedure.
Oral sedation is another option anxious patients may select to help them remain calm while they have dental procedures. If you choose oral sedation for your cosmetic dentistry in Richmond, VA, you will be awake and able to respond but shouldn’t feel any pain while the dentist works on your teeth. Many patients report that they don’t notice the sights, smells or sounds of the dental office when they use oral sedation.
Another option for dental patients is IV sedation. If you choose IV sedation, you will be completely relaxed but able to respond to the dentist. IV sedation is easy for the dentist to control so additional medication can be administered if necessary during your procedure. You may not be able to eat or drink for several hours before your appointment. Your dentist will provide instructions if you choose IV sedation for your cosmetic dentistry in Richmond, VA.