You are not alone in your dental anxiety or fear of the dentist. Many people postpone teeth cleanings or necessary dental procedures because they struggle with anxiousness during the appointment. Whether it’s the instruments, noisy drills or the dentist’s chair itself that gives you pause, Dr. Keefe at 5 Mile Smiles can help you achieve a relaxed state during your next visit — with sedation dentistry.
Your oral health is a critical component of your entire well-being, making regular dental exams and proper dental care (including timely treatments) key to your overall health. Avoiding dental care and treatment altogether because of anxiety or fear will have long-term consequences for your teeth, gums and mouth. It may impact your entire body if conditions such as gum disease or tooth abscesses go untreated. Don’t let odontophobia (fear of the dentist) stop you from filling that cavity or replacing that missing tooth any longer.
Why Choose Dr. Keefe for Your Sedation Dentistry Needs
Dr. Keefe is certified in conscious sedation by DOCS Education — the top organization for sedation education. DOCS delivers a comprehensive course for continued medical education (CME) credits for dentists and is led by world-class faculty. Doctors learn how to use oral sedation in dentistry safely, and the course includes administration, methodologies and pharmacological techniques. Dr. Keefe provides a gentle and compassionate approach to dental care for all patients, particularly those nervous about their appointment. He wants to take the anxiety out of your visit by providing a comfortable, stress-free setting with oral sedative medications.
What is Oral Sedation?
The goal of sedation dentistry is to put you in a relaxed, dream-like state for safe, effective dental care, from regular teeth cleanings to oral surgery. Conscious sedation involves a sedative pill administered by Dr. Keefe that eases your anxiety but ensures you’re still awake and communicative during your treatment. Halcion or Triazolam are often used for oral sedation, and these prescription drugs are similar to Valium. Oral sedation does not include pain relief, though, so a local anesthetic may be used depending on the details of your appointment.
Dr. Keefe may have you take the oral sedative the night prior or an hour before your dental visit. You will not be able to drive yourself home afterward because the effects of oral sedation may take up to 24 hours to dissipate. Take the rest of the day to rest and return to your normal activities the next day. You will likely remember little to nothing about your dental treatment.
Is Oral Sedation Safe?
When administered by a properly trained and licensed dental professional such as Dr. Keefe, the risks of sedation medications are reduced. However, there will always be some degree of risk, which is why he will discuss your medical history, current medications and overall health beforehand to ensure oral sedation is the best way to lower your dental anxiety.
Who Qualifies for Oral Sedation?
Someone who experiences anxiety or fear due to dental instruments, needles or drills may benefit from sedation dentistry. If you have a strong gag reflex, severe tooth sensitivity or low pain tolerance, or if you struggle to sit still during dental treatments, oral sedation could improve your experience at the dentist.
Schedule Your Anxiety-Free Dental Exam Today
If you are interested in sedation dentistry to ease your anxiety or fear of the dentist, Dr. Keefe can provide a relaxing experience so you can enjoy optimal oral health.
Contact 5 Mile Smiles in Spokane today to make your appointment by calling (509) 326-2621.