At Shoreline Dental Studio, we make going to the dentist an event our patients can look forward to. Whether you come in for a check up, want to fill gaps in your smile with dental implants, or are interested in Invisalign®, we cover all your smile needs — with patient care as our number one priority. That’s why we offer the ultimate comfort experience at our San Clemente and Mission Viejo offices. Starting from when you first walk through the door right through to “See you next time!,” we tailor to your needs so your visits are relaxed and calm.
Alleviating Your Anxieties With Sedation Dentistry
Now, it’s safe to say that some people have a bit of dental anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist and we understand that. In fact, a study by the American Dental Association showed that 22% of Americans skip going to the dentist because of their dental anxiety. Dr. Kristen Ritzau, along with her colleagues Dr. Colby Livingston and Dr. Shahira Saad, lead the way in Orange County general dentistry with compassionate care that goes above and beyond the expected. Part of what makes us your Orange County dentist of choice is offering dental sedation, which helps patients who have anxiety about the dentist feel more at ease when they visit.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
So what exactly is dental sedation? In short, sedation dental care is about using safe sedative medications to reduce a patient’s anxiety for a dental procedure. The decision to choose sedation is not so much about the seriousness of a treatment but about a patient’s comfort level. We’ve had patients ask for sedation to relax them during a routine check up, while others are okay without sedation for a check up but are anxious about their appointment for a tooth replacement.
If you’re feeling nervous or stressed about an upcoming appointment, let us know in advance. Dr. Ritzau, Dr. Livingston, and Dr. Saad are more than happy to have a conversation prior to your appointment about your fears and if you might benefit from dental sedation. If you choose to go with it, we’ll go over the options that work best for your particular situation and treatment.
Dental sedation is delivered orally, by inhalation, or intravenously (IV). At Shoreline Dental Studio, we offer the first two types: oral sedation, and inhalation of what’s commonly called “laughing gas.”
With this option, we prescribe medication that you take typically about an hour before you come to see us. This anti-anxiety medication will take stress out of your treatment and help you feel more comfortable throughout. During your procedure, we keep a close eye on your vitals and can check in with you at intervals to see how you’re feeling. Oral sedation typically makes patients drowsy so it’s best to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
Oral sedatives have a few other benefits, too: they help minimize the memory of your time in the dentist chair, they allow the dentist to finish treatment with fewer visits, and, in the case of more complex treatments, you can complete your procedure in less time overall.
You might have heard of some of the anti-anxiety medications we use in oral sedation since they’re the same medications used for other kinds of anxiety. Valium, Ativan, Halcion and Ambien are a few of the brands prescribed by dentists that use sedation. These medications typically wear off between 2-8 hours, depending on which medication you were prescribed.
Dental Sedation With Laughing Gas
Contrary to what it sounds like, laughing gas doesn’t typically make you collapse in fits of laughter. It’s called that because it slows down your nervous system and makes you feel less inhibited. Your limbs might feel heavier, you might experience a tingly sensation, or you’ll feel light-headed. Thankfully, you’re lying down at the dentist!
A mild sedative and pain reliever, laughing gas is a mixture of nitrous oxide and pure oxygen, inhaled from a small mask that fits over your nose. With the mask on, you breathe as you normally would and will start feeling the effects in a few minutes. Your Shoreline Dental Studio dentists and team regulate the level of nitrous oxide you take in throughout your procedure in response to your level of anxiety or discomfort.
Laughing gas is quick to enter your system and quick to leave it. You’ll feel clear-headed and alert about 15 minutes after you’ve stopped taking the gas. If you’re keen to go about your day, inhalations of oxygen at the end of your appointment help the gas clear out of your system and is known to prevent headaches that can occur as a side effect.
Our patients who choose nitrous oxide as part of their comfort experience can usually drive themselves home or go on with the rest of their day uninterrupted.
Using Oral Sedatives And Laughing Gas Together
For a deeper sense of ease, oral sedation can be safely paired with laughing gas at your appointment. You will still need someone to bring you to and from our Mission Viejo or San Clemente office — laughing gas doesn’t change how long the effects of your prescribed medication will last.
Even More Comfort
The comfort experience at Shoreline Dental Studio isn’t just about our dental sedation, however. We’re not your typical general dentistry and take a holistic approach to dental care: we know that a soothing environment, friendly faces, and modern technology makes a big difference in your overall dental experience.
Can We Offer You Our Signature Comfort Menu?
Just like at a spa or flying first class, options for personalized comfort go a long way in making an experience go from good to exceptional. At Shoreline Dental Studio, we have a literal menu of comfort items that help our patients feel like the VIPs they are. Whether in combination with dental sedation or just on their own, offerings from our Comfort Menu help our patients feel comfortable and at home.
Will your favorite music calm your nerves? We’ve got noise-cancelling headphones and personal iPods. Do you need a soft blanket for a sense of security? We’ve got those, too. Our unique Comfort Menu also includes pampering items like moisturizing hand masks, squeezy stress relievers, warm face towels, and neck pillows.
Visit Shoreline Dental Studio During Our “Fall Asleep” Promotion
Contact us today to take advantage of our “Fall Asleep” Promotion running October – December and receive complimentary sedation options during your visit.