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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 Your Mouth Healthy With Dental Sedation

  • January 9, 2016
Oral Surgery 2 | Legacy Smiles - Billings, MT

That feeling is back again. You’re nervous just thinking about what’s happening tomorrow.

You are going to the dentist. You know you aren’t the only one who is afraid of the dentist. You’ve heard more than one of your friends talk about it, too.

It used hard to even think about going to a dentist’s office, much less to call and make an appointment.

But you did. Your friends told you about the staff at Legacy Smiles in Billings, MT. They told you how caring they are toward their patients, and they told you about dental sedation and how it can reduce your anxiety.

You can’t remember the last time you went to the dentist, but you know, in your heart, that you need to go to keep your mouth as healthy as it can be.

You Are Not Alone

You could tell when you called Legacy Smiles that they have treated patients like you before.

Different places give you different information, but some experts believe the as many as 1 in 5 people experience some level of dental anxiety. And up to 8 percent of people completely avoid going to the dentist because of that fear.

That’s not a good for them or for their oral health. Brushing and flossing daily are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but so are routine cleanings and examination by a dental professional.

During your visit, the dentist or hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that you missed. They also take X-rays to make sure your teeth are aligned correctly and to make sure they haven’t changed in some way since your previous visit.

The dental staff at Legacy Smiles check for signs of gum disease, too. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, about 80 percent of Americans have some level of gum disease, and many of them don’t realize it.

The good news is that if you can catch gum disease in the early stages, then your treatment will be less invasive and more effective.

At The Office

When you walked in you think the receptionist could tell you were a little nervous. She asked if this was your first visit to Legacy Smiles.

She offered you a beverage while you waited to be called back. She explained that they had pillows and blankets to help you feel more comfortable. They had headphones, too, if you wanted to drown out the sounds of the office.

You told them you wouldn’t mind a blanket when you sat down in the chair.

When you called, they told you that you could schedule a longer appointment. They said this allows patients with dental anxiety to go at their own pace. This way you can pause the work if you start to feel fearful for any reason.

You decided that you didn’t need the headphones because you are receiving nitrous oxide dental sedation during your cleaning.

You considered oral conscious sedation. With that, you would have taken some medicine before coming to the office. One of your friends would have driven you here, and you definitely would have needed a ride home. Apparently, the effects of oral sedation last a little longer.

Legacy Smiles also has two other kinds of dental sedation: IV sedation and general anesthesia. Those are generally for more complicated procedures, and they are administered by licensed anesthesiologist.

With nitrous oxide, they put a mask over your nose, and you just breathe. Within a few minutes you start to feeling like you could be drifting off to sleep.

The next thing you know, the mask is off. The hygienist and the dentist are smiling at you. The dentist explained that you had some signs of gingivitis. The hygienist showed you how you can treat that, and she demonstrated the proper flossing technique you should be using.

It’s amazing how quickly you recovered after the nitrous oxide mask was removed. Your friend said you would be able to drive yourself home, and he was right.

You feel better about going to the dentist now that you’ve had a cleaning. You’re even going to schedule your next appointment before you leave.

Who knows? You just might be able to get used to going to the dentist after all.

Make Your Appointment

If you are a patient with dental anxiety, we want to help. Dental sedation is just one way we try to help our patients in and around Billings, MT, feel comfortable at our dentist office.

To learn more, call Legacy Smiles at (406) 794-3114 or use our online form to make an appointment.

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