Your fears shouldn’t hinder your oral health: How sedation dentistry in Orange County can help
At the Dental Oasis of Orange County, Dr. Brian Toorani and his team are set on providing the most comfortable environment for patients, as the office is designed to emulate a spa-like atmosphere. But sometimes even a relaxing office isn’t enough to ease people’s anxiety. And that’s okay–Dr. Toorani is committed to helping those with extreme fear of the dentist. Take a look at just how common these fears are and how they can be resolved.
Why are people afraid of dentists and why does it matter?
Believe it or not, researchers believe that 9% to 15% of all Americans have some sort of dental phobia. Although that percentage range may seem small, that’s about 30 million-plus people! Some people are embarrassed of their oral health, afraid of the pain they might experience, or anxious around the sounds of a dental drill. Some people are afraid because they have a bad gag reflex or very sensitive teeth.
Whatever the reason, people who don’t visit the dentist regularly are going to have issues later on. Besides discolored teeth, people who don’t get their teeth cleaned can end up having severe decay, gum disease, tooth loss, pain, serious secondary conditions, and so on. Thankfully there are ways to combat this phobia.
While therapy can certainly help people develop confidence over time, sedation dentistry is a good route for those that need to get into the dentist ASAP.
What are the options?
There are many routes of sedation. For instance, some offices use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or intravenous (IV) conscious sedation (deep conscious sedation), while others use less intense methods with oral medications. Dr. Toorani and his staff just use oral sedatives at the office in Huntington Beach.
While IV sedation can knock you out more quickly, there is a higher level of risk since your blood pressure and heart rate need monitoring equipment. And the after-effects can be more potent as well once you come out of it. With oral sedatives, however, you can avoid these risk factors and feelings of amnesia when you are done. And if you are also scared of needles, this is a great way to avoid that!
There are many oral sedatives that can be prescribed, but Huntington Beach dentists use Halcion and Xanax. You’ve probably heard of these medications before. They both fall under medications known as benzodiazepines, which are commonly used to help treat people with insomnia, depression, anxiety, and muscle spasms.
As long as you go over your concerns with your dentist and update your medical history, you aren’t likely to have any complications with these drugs.
How do oral sedatives work for pain-free dentistry?
You will need to follow any specific instructions your dentist gives you before going in. Although not required, you may want to wear loose fitting and comfy clothes so you are more inclined to relax.
You can swallow the pills, but your dentist may have you take the sublingually (under the tongue), so that they diffuse into your bloodstream more rapidly.
After you take one of these drugs, they can take a little while to kick in, and depending on your dosage, this could range from as little to fifteen minutes to an hour. But your dentist won’t begin until the medication has kicked in. These pills will make you drowsy, but they won’t completely knock you out. If you are overly anxious, your dentist may give you a higher dosage which could make you drowsy enough that you do sleep. But again, this method is very different from IV since you can easily be woken up should you fall asleep.
Once your dental procedure is over, you may still feel a bit woozy since each prescription has a different half-life (or how long the drug remains in your system afterward). It’s also very normal afterward to feel giddy or to even forget most of your time in the office!
You will need someone to drive you home after, and the best way to recover after the procedure is to try and sleep. If you are prone to nausea, you’ll want to drink plenty of liquids and eat soft foods, like pudding or jello. Again, you’ll need to follow any specific instructions that your dentist gives you.
Can just anyone undergo sedation dentistry?
No, there are definitely some contraindications to be aware of. For instance, if you think you might be pregnant, if you are pregnant, or if are nursing, you shouldn’t undergo sedation. Benzodiazepines can cause birth defects and your child could also be addicted to the drugs when he or she is born. Surprisingly though, children with severe anxiety can receive sedation as long as they take the dose that’s appropriate for their weight and age.
If you’ve experienced allergic reactions to benzodiazepines and similar drugs in the past, it is not recommended that you take this route of sedation. Allergic reactions not only cause swelling and itchy hives, they can cause you to have breathing difficulties.
Because benzodiazepines are Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, they shouldn’t be mixed with other depressants that you may be taking. Taking alcohol before or after using these drugs is a big no-no. Besides increasing your risk of an allergic reaction, alcohol can increase the effects of the sedative and increase the risk of dizziness, fainting, and even comas or death.
While sedation dentistry can be used for most people in reasonably good health, these drugs’ effects can linger in older adults. And since accidental falls can be more common in elderly patients, they may want to look at alternative routes or make sure that they have a friend or family member to monitor them carefully.
While not necessarily contraindications, those with respiratory disease (COPD), bipolar disorder, impaired kidney function, and congestive heart failure do need to have a frank discussion with their dentist about possible risk factors.
Contact Dental Oasis in Huntington Beach today!
Lastly, because the ADA requires specific training for each state, you are in good hands to have Dr. Brian Toorani administer sedatives. And if you have any contraindications that would prevent you from undergoing sedation dentistry, Dr. Toorani would be happy to work with you so that you don’t have to compromise your oral health any further.
I am thrilled that I found a wonderful dentist in Dr. Toorani and his team.
The office is aptly named. It really does look like a spa and is full of the latest gadgets in dentistry. It is located in the Bella Terra shopping center upstairs next to Bed, Bath & Beyond and right next to a Cost Plus. The location is easy to get in and out of and there is a parking garage if you are trying to avoid the often crowded parking lot.
Dr. Toorani is working on closing my open bite and alleviating some of my jaw pain so that I can avoid jaw surgery.
He is honest, fair and friendly. I would highly recommend Dental Oasis of Orange County to anyone in the market for a new dentist.Liz H.
“The Dental Oasis is focused on raising the bar of excellence with patient experience. Essentially by providing great customer service and exceeding expectations. Ultimately, it’s all about our patients and it is what we love to do. My passion is dentistry. My love is for my patients. This is why I come to the office every day. Our modern, tranquil, peaceful, and spa-like environment will make you forget that you are at the dentist’s office. We utilize all the latest technology in dentistry and offer many amenities that will make your visit a unique and relaxing one. Whether you need a teeth cleaning, crown, or dental implants, we are here to serve you. At The Dental Oasis you are family.” – Dr. Brian Toorani