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  • Writer's pictureParkway Prosthodontics


Does the thought of visiting the dentist fill you with anxiety? You’re not alone. It’s estimated that between 9 and 20 percent of Americans avoid dental appointments out of fear. Unfortunately, this means that many patients don’t receive the care they need to protect their teeth from decay and infection, causing problems that can be damaging and painful. However, your sedation dentist in Jacksonville can help you overcome your fears and have a positive, low-stress experience in the chair.


For some, the idea of going to the dentist even just for a simple cleaning is worse than bearing the misery and pain of living with an oral problem. In fact, some avoid getting dental treatment for multiple years. If this is your situation, you don’t have to suffer! With sedation, your dentist can remove and lessen your fears and enable you to get the dental services you need to keep your smile healthy.


Depending on the severity of your dental anxiety and the complexity of the procedure you’re undergoing, your dentist can offer you relief through nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation. Although these medications do not put you to sleep, they can ease you into such a relaxed state that you can take a peaceful nap while your dentist completes your treatment.


Nitrous oxide is a fast-acting gas, often called laughing gas, that calms your nerves. You breathe it in through a mask over your nose throughout your appointment, and the dosage can be slightly altered according to your needs. This sedation method is used typically in mild cases of dental anxiety, but one of the most significant benefits of nitrous oxide is that the effects wear off quickly, allowing you to return to your daily life with basically no recovery time or unpleasant side effects.


More powerful than nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation still allows you to remain awake during treatment, but you may not remember details from your visit. You take the oral sedative before you arrive at the dentist’s office, giving it enough time to kick in when you need it. Although a family member or friend would need to drive you to and from the appointment, this option eliminates the stress of a dental visit from beginning to end.


Many dentists realize that getting dental treatment can be a sincerely nerve-wracking prospect for some patients. Some offices try to provide accommodations that can help you relax in the chair, such as warm blankets or pillows, but these amenities don’t address the very real fear you feel. A dentist who provides sedation recognizes and empathizes with their patients and uses proven solutions to reduce discomfort and anxiety.

In the end, sedation dentistry is a helpful tool that can turn an intimidating or scary dental appointment into the productive, healthy visit that it should be. Don’t wait to get the dental care your smile needs to stay healthy. If you struggle with dental anxiety, call your sedation dentist today!


As a prosthodontist, Dr. Kathryn Ryan specializes in esthetic and implant dentistry. In her practice, Parkway Prosthodontics, she offers both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation to help anxious patients feel more at ease. While at Marquette University School of Dentistry, she completed a 3-year residency program in fixed and removable prosthodontics and implant and maxillofacial prosthetics. Basically, she learned how to treat the most complex type of dental patients. To schedule an appointment with her, you can call (904) 204-1628 or click here.

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