Although anxiety about dental procedures might seem like something you should be able to control, for many people, it's actually a result of overactive receptors in the brain that control reactions to stimuli. Dr. Michael Owens of Vibrant Smiles Dental in Waldorf, MD, is a dentist who understands the science behind dental anxiety and wants his patients to feel at ease when faced with dental procedures. That's why he offers a variety of anxiolytics, which temporarily counteract the brain's inherent responses and allow you to feel relaxed and comfortable.
For patients who feel a mild to moderate sense of anxiety about procedures at their dentist's office, Dr. Owens suggests using nitrous oxide, an inhaled gas, to calm their nerves. A lightweight and loose-fitting mask is placed over the nose before the procedure and the gas is delivered by regular breathing. The nickname "laughing gas" comes from the silly or euphoric feeling that some people experience, but our trained staff will maintain an appropriate level of nitrous oxide to make sure that you are comfortable without feeling dizzy or restless. The effects of nitrous wear off almost as soon as the mask is removed; you'll be able to drive home and resume normal activity afterward.
There are many different oral medications available to help you stay calm and relaxed during a dental procedure. These medications, when taken at a therapeutic level and monitored by professionals, are very safe and effective. What you need will depend on your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure and what medications you're currently taking. That's why it's important to disclose your medical history with your Waldorf dentist; determining what kind of anti-anxiety medication works best for you is an invaluable way to maintain your dental health. Most of these medications will require a ride home after a procedure, as their effects can last for several hours.
To schedule an appointment at Vibrant Smiles Dental in Waldorf, MD, contact us today! We look forward to helping you maintain your dental health comfortably!