601 State Road 35 | P.O. Box 459 |
          Centuria, Wisconsin 54824

What is Dental Anxiety?

Do you dread visiting the dental office or avoid scheduling appointments? Dental treatments can make people nervous, and some would rather live with oral health issues than set foot in a dentist’s office. If this sounds like you, then you may be suffering from dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety is a common problem that can be caused by previous experiences, phobias, or lack of trust. At River Birch Dental, we want to make sure that you’re totally comfortable the moment you enter our office.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

If you’re experiencing dental anxiety, Dr. Vargas will provide you with sedation to ensure you’re comfortable during your visit. Administered before your treatment, the purpose of sedation is to put you in a state of total relaxation so that you don’t feel any pain or fear at any point in the process.

While you’ll be conscious during the entire visit, the sedation may cause you to feel drowsy and can sometimes cause amnesia effects. We’ll also offer the option to listen to music through headphones as an additional distraction.

A young woman with curly hair smiling and looking to the side

Types of Sedation We Offer

The form of sedation we offer our patients is called nitrous oxide. This is also known as laughing gas because it puts patients in a euphoric state and can cause them to laugh. It’s administered through a mask that is placed over your nose. You’ll inhale the gas before Dr. Vargas begins your treatment as well as during.

Each person reacts to dental treatments and medications differently, so we’ll make sure to perform a thorough evaluation before providing you with this sedation. We’ll also monitor you while you’re receiving the nitrous oxide to ensure you’re completely safe.

After your dental care is completed, we’ll take off the mask and flush out the sedation with oxygen. This will ensure you have total control of your body again and can drive home safely once the nitrous oxide is completely out of your system.

A patient sitting in a dental chair smiling at her dentist

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I overcome my fear of going to the dentist?

If you’re nervous about going to the dentist, here are a few tips to help you overcome your fears:

  • Listen to music to take your mind off things and distract you from unpleasant sounds.
  • Do your homework — Ask family and friends for recommendations on dentists they trust who can help with dental anxiety.
  • Avoid caffeine before your appointment to reduce anxious feelings.
  • Use hand signals — When you’re feeling uncomfortable or need a break, use your hands to communicate your message
  • Choose an appropriate appointment time when you won’t have to rush.

If you’re feeling nervous when you arrive at your appointment, be sure to communicate your concerns to our dentists and we can help you through your treatment. We offer dental sedation to put your worries and pain at ease.

Can you still feel pain with laughing gas?

Laughing gas is a type of conscious sedation. The purpose of laughing gas is to make you feel comfortable and help you relax. It’s often used in combination with a local anesthetic, which will take the pain away. If you experience pain or anxiety throughout your treatment, be sure to let us know and we can adjust the dosage to help keep you at ease.

Will I be able to talk with conscious sedation?

Although you’ll feel calm and drowsy, you’ll still be awake and able to respond to verbal cues and touch. Our dentists will ask you questions throughout your treatment to ensure you’re comfortable and pain-free.

How safe is sedation dentistry?

Nitrous oxide has been used since the 1800s. It’s a safe and effective way to keep your worries at bay while we improve your oral health. When administered by experienced dentists, like our dentists at River Birch Dental, you’ll receive a safe dosage and we’ll monitor you throughout the treatment.

Are there any aftercare instructions I should follow if my child received nitrous oxide?

Although children typically recover quickly from the effects of nitrous oxide, we’ll be sure to monitor them until they’re safe to leave. Children may become exhausted or nauseous after being exposed to nitrous oxide.

It’s important to keep them hydrated for the rest of the day and make sure they avoid high-impact sports, especially activities requiring balance. If you have any questions or concerns about dental sedation, feel free to contact our office by calling (715) 646-2161 and one of our helpful team members will be happy to assist you.


Contact Us to Cure Your Dental Anxiety

It’s common to feel anxious about dental treatments, but sedation dentistry can help. Contact us at (715) 646-2161 or fill out our contact form to learn more about sedation dentistry, and how you can feel at ease the next time you visit our office.

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