It is not unusual for people to feel hesitant and nervous when visiting a dental office. For some people, this can lead to fear and anxiety that can cause people to avoid dental treatment and risk their general oral health. We feel strongly that all patients in our office should have the best experience possible and there are a number of ways in which we strive to make all appointments stress-free and comfortable.
We find that the more information people have about conditions or treatment, the less anxious and more in control they feel. Often, a simple conversation can ease fears and reduce anxiety. Our doctors are available for consultation and are always happy to discuss your concerns and treatment. Patients can expect full explanations of planned dental treatment and will also be provided with information concerning appropriate pain relief medication and strategies.
2. Oral anti-anxiety medications:
For some patients, information is not sufficient to ease their fears. For more profound relaxation, oral medications to reduce anxiety can be given to patients prior to your appointment.
3. Nitrous oxide:
Sometimes known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gas that is administered with oxygen through a small nose piece and requires you to breathe normally through your nose. The advantages of nitrous oxide are that it works rapidly and produces a feeling of relaxation and can diminish pain sensation. The effects are instantaneous, unlike oral sedatives (pills), the gas can be switched off and its effects are removed. There are no lasting side effects and you can resume all normal activities, including driving, after the procedure is completed. For patients with procedures involving the gums (scaling and root planning, deep cleanings) that feel uncomfortable, nitrous oxide can make the treatment more tolerable with or without the need for local anesthesia.
4. IV sedation:
Dr. Ferguson has successfully partnered with Dr. Glen Atlas, a board certified anesthesiology physician, to provide safe in office sedation for the last 10 years. This option is offered to patients who require extensive procedures or exhibit extreme dental phobia. In these situations, Dr. Ferguson treats patients while in-office sedation is safely administered and monitored by Dr. Atlas. Dr. Atlas is a full Anesthesiology Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and more information is available through Dr. Atlas’ website. Dr. Ferguson is also available to answer any dental anxiety or sedation questions you may have by calling the office at 973-744-3181.