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Dr. Michael W. Stuart

Dr. Craig E. Stannebein

2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D. Billings, MT 59102

Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday by Appointment Only

(406) 794-3114

Keep Calm And Visit The Dentist | Billings, MT

  • December 9, 2015

‘Twas the day to see the dentist, all through the office

some patients were stirring, and dreading the chair;

The dentist was waiting to give oral care,

In hopes that cavities would never be there;

Some were bothered by thoughts in their heads;

Why couldn’t they stay home, snug in their bed;

But treatment was need, to keep their mouths healthy.

With dental sedation, their treatment was stealthy.


We admit. Coming Legacy Smiles in Billings for a dental cleaning may not leave you feeling like a child on Christmas Eve. We know that some of our patients throughout our part of Montana even dread coming for dental care.
We know that dental anxiety is a real thing, and it’s one of the reasons dental sedation is part of our practice.

Dealing with dental anxiety
You may not realize it but dental fear or dental anxiety is quite common. It’s estimated that between 30 and 40 million  Americans experience some level of dental anxiety.
Maybe you had a bad experience at the dentist and that left you hesitant to return. Maybe you are generally afraid of needles, and you know that dentists sometimes use needles.
Maybe you are concerned that your oral hygiene isn’t as good as it should be, and you worry that the dentist or hygienist will be upset with you.
Maybe you are worried about the drill, or maybe you just don’t like the idea of people looking that closely at the inside of your mouth.
We want you to know that if you have any of those feelings, then there is nothing wrong with you. Some of those fears and worries are common even among people who come to the dentist regularly.
We also hope you know that routine oral care is important to keep your mouth healthy and for your overall health. We want to keep you healthy, and to do that, we need to see you regularly.
We have taken steps to help our patients cope with their dental anxiety. One of the most important ways is by offering dental sedation.

What is dental sedation?
Dental anxiety can make it difficult to make an appointment much less to sit down in the dentist’s chair. Dental sedation is meant to help our patients relax when they come to our office for a visit.
With sedation, we have ways to help even the most fearful patients feel calm and stay relaxed throughout their procedures.
Sometimes children are nervous because they are in a strange environment with people they don’t know. Sometimes adults are more worried about what might go wrong rather than focusing on how they can prevent those problems.
Dental sedation will leave you in a semi-conscious state or put you to sleep. There’s a good chance that you may not remember your treatment at all. You will be able to relax, and your dentist or hygienist will have an easier time providing the dental care you need.
At Legacy Smiles, we offer four levels of dental sedation, which means we can help whether you have mild anxiety or outright fear when thinking about the dentist.
We’ll explain the different types of sedation we offer our patients, starting with the lowest level.
Nitrous oxide
You may know this better as laughing gas. When you breathe this in, it will quickly help you feel more relaxed. Many patients are still able to respond to directions from the dentist or hygienist, but they no longer feel anxiety during their procedure.
When you treatment is over, we simply turn off the gas. It wears off as quickly as it takes effect, which means you can continue with your day.
Oral conscious sedation
Patients with stronger dental fear may prefer this type of dental sedation. With oral sedation, you take a pill prior to your visit. By the time it takes effect, you may feel like you are asleep. That allows you to receive a cleaning or even more complicated procedures without any memory of what is happening.
The effects of oral sedation will last for a while after your procedure is over. That is why you must arrange for a family member or friend to take you home if you receive this form of dental sedation.
IV sedation
This is even stronger than oral sedation. A licensed provider must administer this form of dental sedation.
We use this for patients with extreme dental fear or patients who are undergoing more complicated procedures.
Again, the effects may last for hours after you leave, so you should arrange for someone else to take you home.
General anesthesia
This is the type of sedation used during surgeries at hospitals. We only use this for the most complex procedures. An anesthesiologist will administer this type of sedation if it is needed.
You will need a ride home, and you will want to rest when you get there.

Take comfort in your care
We want our patients in and around Billings to feel comfortable throughout their care, whether they are coming for a routine cleaning or a root canal treatment.
Our team at Legacy Smiles wants to help relieve your dental anxiety, and we know that isn’t something that will happen overnight. With time, we hope to ease your anxiety as we continue to help you have a healthy mouth.
To learn more about our dental sedation or to make an appointment, call us at 406-794-3114 or fill out our online form.
If you are a new patient, we would like to meet you. Please fill out this form to make your appointment.


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