If you suffer from dental anxiety, you’re not alone.

A large percentage of individuals in the United States suffers from dental anxiety, and many people experience it so severely that they actually have what’s known as “dental phobia.”  Sound familiar? It’s okay—you’re in a no-judgment zone.

Overall, there are two main reasons people put off going to the dentist: cost and fear. It’s not unusual for a patient to admit they haven’t been to the dentist in a very long time. With that in mind, the collective experience of our dental team totals more than 100 years, and Dr. Marisa Patt fully understands the need to provide care with a compassionate approach and a focus on making treatment as comfortable as possible. When it comes to dental care, the best course of action is to let us take a look and resolve the small issues before they become bigger problems.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

For patients grappling with significant fear or anxiety about dental procedures, various sedation options present unique advantages. Here’s a closer look at the benefits offered by each method:

IV Sedation:

  • The sedation solution is swiftly introduced into the bloodstream, providing rapid relief.
  • Induces a deep state of relaxation, often leading to a light sleep during the procedure.
  • The sedation level can be adjusted to cater to individual needs and preferences.
  • Many patients experience little to no memory of the treatment, enhancing the overall comfort of the experience.
  • Allows for the completion of more dental work in a single appointment, potentially reducing the need for additional visits.

Nitrous Oxide:

  • Offers a quick onset of relaxation, making it suitable for patients with mild to moderate anxiety.
  • Patients can recover rapidly, with the effects wearing off soon after the procedure.
  • Provides a calming effect without rendering the patient unconscious, allowing for cooperation during the treatment.
  • The level of sedation is easily controllable throughout the procedure.

Oral Sedation:

  • Administered in pill form, offering a convenient and simple approach to sedation.
  • Effective for managing mild to moderate anxiety levels.
  • Patients can experience a heightened state of relaxation, contributing to a more comfortable dental experience.
  • Like IV sedation, it allows for the completion of multiple dental procedures in one session.

Embracing sedation dentistry, whether through Nitrous Oxide, Oral Sedation, or IV Sedation, extends beyond just addressing immediate fears. Sedation techniques can be utilized for preventive dental care, cosmetic dentistry, or restorative dental treatment. Overall, one of the greatest benefits of sedation dentistry is that it gives patients enough peace of mind to actually go through with necessary dental treatment rather than avoiding it altogether. This can ultimately prevent current dental problems from getting much worse and requiring more invasive treatment down the road!


Common Causes of Dental Anxiety 

Fears and anxieties associated with dental treatment can have a variety of causes. Some of the most common include:

  • General nervousness or fear relating to needles, injections drills, and other types of dental instruments/materials
  • Teeth and gums that are particularly sensitive
  • Unease with the general sounds, tastes, and smells connected to a dental office
  • Overactive/severe gag reflex
  • A previous traumatic experience at a dental office

While dental anxiety is perfectly understandable, it is important to remember that advances in the dental field, along with a team of dental professionals committed to providing the most comfortable experience possible, have allowed patients to achieve much more relaxing visits to the dentist’s office. Dr. Patt will be happy to talk with you about your needs and explore options that can help relieve fears and anxieties during your treatment.

How Does Sedation Work?

During your initial consultation with Dr. Patt, she will assess your medical and dental history to determine the most suitable sedation option for you. Whether it’s Nitrous Oxide, Oral Sedation, or IV Sedation, Dr. Patt and our dental team will provide guidelines to prepare for your treatment day. Keep in mind that even with milder sedation methods, such as Nitrous Oxide or Oral Sedation, lingering drowsiness is possible. Hence, it’s essential to arrange for someone to accompany you to and from our office on the day of your treatment.

The chosen sedation method will be administered, taking effect in a timely manner. You can anticipate a profound state of relaxation, possibly drifting into a light sleep, depending on the sedation type. Throughout the treatment, your vital signs will be monitored closely. After completion, a recovery period will follow, allowing the effects to gradually wear off. Following the procedure, you may experience grogginess and drowsiness, emphasizing the importance of having a companion with you until the sedation effects have fully dissipated.

While most patients can resume their regular activities 24 hours after the sedation effects start to fade, having someone by your side during the initial recovery period is advisable for comfort and safety, ensuring a smooth transition back to your daily routine.

Sedation Dentistry FAQ

While most folks are good candidates, Dr. Marisa Patt will review your medical history to ensure it’s the best fit for you. We’ll check for other health issues you have that might impact your safety during the procedures, like allergies to the sedative, a history of sleep apnea, and more.

Often our patients will be able to answer questions and respond to instructions, such as, “Turn your head,” and, “Open your mouth.”

Safety is our top priority! We monitor vital signs throughout the procedure to ensure everything is going well.

If you choose to be orally or IV sedated for your trip to the dentist, you’ll need to bring a buddy to drive you home after the appointment. The sedative will take a while to wear off, making it unsafe to drive yourself.

Additional Comfort Options

Our hygienists have additional gentle dental care training, and they’ll talk you through every step of the way. Your safety and comfort is our primary concern. In addition to sedation techniques, we proudly feature these options to help alleviate anxiety:

  • Massage chairs
  • Pain-free injections with the DentalVibe®
  • High-quality materials

Doing what we can to make sure our patients feel as safe and comfortable as possible is one of our team’s highest priorities. If you have questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact BOCO Dental & Prosthodontics today.

Pricing and Insurance

Thinking about the cost of anesthesia can be daunting. But here are some things to consider:

  • Invest in Comfort: Think of sedation as an investment in a stress-free dental experience. Breeze through your appointment without the nerves.
  • Insurance Intel: Some dental plans might cover sedation, especially if it’s not just for anxiety but for medical reasons too. Our team is all over it — we’ll help you navigate the details.
  • Options for Every Wallet: Every smile is unique, and so is every budget. We’re here to chat through your options and find what fits.

Call to Schedule an Appointment Today

So, Boulder, are you ready to experience the cozier side of dentistry? Let Dr. Marisa Patt and the BOCO Dental & Prosthodontics team show you the way. Just give us a call at (303) 530-1212, and let’s get you on the path to stress-free dental care!