Sedation Dentistry: A Game-Changer for Patients with Dental Anxiety

Sedation Dentistry

Does the idea of stepping foot in a dentist’s office make you feel tense and anxious? You’re certainly not alone! It’s estimated that over a third (36%) of people in the U.S. have some level of dental anxiety, ranging from merely dreading office visits to avoiding the dentist at all costs—even when it’s absolutely necessary. 

The good news? Dental sedation (AKA “sleep dentistry”) makes it possible to overcome your anxiety, feel at ease in the dentist’s chair, and get the care you need to maintain a healthy smile. It’s truly a game-changer! 

Understanding Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety, also known as dentophobia or odontophobia, is a condition that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s very common for people who had past traumatic experiences at the dentist, but sometimes it can be related to a fear of pain or feeling a lack of control during treatments. 

Others may avoid the dentist due to embarrassment about the condition of their teeth or because they have sensory sensitivities that make dental procedures feel overwhelming. 

Regardless of why you have anxiety, we understand. Being in the dentist’s chair and having someone doing things to your mouth is a vulnerable position to be in, even for those who don’t have anxiety. But it’s important to recognize that dental anxiety often causes more than just psychological discomfort—it can have serious consequences for your oral health.

For example, postponing or completely avoiding dental visits can lead to undetected dental issues, like cavities or gum disease, which often don’t have noticeable symptoms until they’re in the later stages. 

When dental problems go unaddressed, they don’t get better on their own—they get worse over time. This means that a cavity that would have only required a simple filling might need a more complex or drastic treatment in the future, like a root canal or tooth extraction. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can help you overcome your anxiety—and regain control of your oral health. 

What is Sedation Dentistry?

There are several different types of sedation dentistry, but all of them are designed to help eliminate anxiety so you can receive dental care in a relaxed state. It’s very safe—and effective! Here at the Buzza Dental Group, we use oral sedation and IV sedation, both of which are excellent for patients with varying levels of dental anxiety. 

With oral sedation, we give you a small blue pill to take before your appointment. It will make you feel sleepy and relaxed, so you’ll need to have someone drive you to and from the office. During your visit, you’ll feel quite groggy and may fall asleep—but you’ll still be able to communicate with our dental team if needed. 

With IV sedation, a carefully controlled dose of sedative medication is delivered directly into your bloodstream. It works quickly and helps you sleep away your appointment—an ideal choice for those who need a deeper level of relaxation during their dental procedures. You likely won’t remember much of your visit—and as with oral sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home. 

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Beyond its ability to relieve anxiety, sedation dentistry offers other benefits, including: 

  • Sedation prevents pain. Sedation dentistry not only relieves anxiety but also guarantees a comfortable, pain-free experience. Even with our advanced dental techniques and technologies, some individuals prefer the added assurance that their treatment will be completely painless. Sedation makes this a reality.
  • Sedation speeds up healing. During sedation, your body doesn’t produce “fight or flight” hormones that can lead to nervous tension and hinder your body’s ability to heal. By preventing the release of these hormones, sedation promotes faster healing, and you wake up feeling calm and relaxed.
  • Sedation can save time. Sedation can be a time-saving solution for patients in need of extensive dental work. It allows us to accomplish more in fewer appointments, so you don’t need to come back for multiple visits. With sedation dentistry, we can address years of dental issues in a single, comprehensive visit.
  • Sedation eases your gag reflex. Some patients have an overly sensitive gag reflex, which can make dental procedures uncomfortable. Similar to how sedation blocks pain, it can also block the sensations that make you feel like gagging. 

Dr. Buzza and our team at the Buzza Dental Group know how difficult it can be for patients with anxiety and who have had traumatic experiences at the dentist to simply make an appointment—but we’re here to help you through it all and have the healthy smile you deserve. 

Dr. Buzza has been a certified sedation dentist for decades—and he’s one of the few, perhaps only, dentists in the region with his depth of experience in administering IV sedation. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities!

So, if dental anxiety has been holding you back from getting the dental care you need, there are effective solutions available. Don’t let fear stand in the way of your dental health—schedule an appointment and discover what a game-changer dental sedation can be! Call Team Buzza today at 707-573-0600 or book an appointment online.

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Dr. Buzza, DDS


Enriching Lives, Exceeding Expectations

2448 Guerneville Rd. Suite 1200, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: 707-573-0600 • Fax: 707-324-1234