How Sedation Dentistry Can Relieve Your Dental Anxiety

For most patients, going to the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and check-up is a normal and routine activity. Some patients even find the process of leaning back in a chair while their teeth are cleaned to be relaxing. But there are many patients who feel differently: Some patients suffer from anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist, even for a routine cleaning or check-up. These feelings can range from anxiety to fear to phobia. If you’re nervous about dental visits, don’t let your anxiety hold you back from the care you need: Consider sedation dentistry.

Do You Have Dental Anxiety?

Fear of the dentist prevents millions of people each year from receiving the preventive dentistry care they need. The anxiety, fear or phobia can become dangerous, as lack of basic dental care and monitoring does not help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and this snowballs into bigger problems that require advanced dentistry, such as tooth fillings or tooth extractions.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the practice of utilizing sedation techniques to calm and relax anxious or fearful dental patients.

Dental Sedation Options

There are a few options for dental sedation, and your dentist will explain which is best for your individual situation and needs.

Nitrous oxide: You may know this as “laughing gas,” as it is commonly known. This is the mildest form of sedation. The oral analgesic is delivered via a gentle face mask that is applied over the patient’s nose. Nitrous oxide alleviates feelings of anxiety and pain. It calms patients. Nitrous oxide could be administered to calm nerves for even simple dental procedures, such as your twice-year dental cleaning and dental check-up.

Oral sedation: Your dentist may prescribe prescription pills to be taken before your visit. Typically two pills are administered: The first is taken the night before your treatment, and the second is taken shortly before your appointment. Oral sedation is often administered before time-consuming procedures, such as root canal treatment.

Combination of both nitrous oxide and oral sedation: For patients with more-severe dental anxiety or fear, a combination of both nitrous oxide and oral sedation may be administered. The combination delivers the maximum level of anxiety relief.


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.