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Newsletter Archive

Longview dentist offers oral medication for stress-free dentistry

It is estimated that up to 8 percent of Americans avoid dental care entirely due to dental phobia and an even larger number, up to 20 percent only visit the dentist when pain drives them to the dental chair, according to University of Washington’s Dental Fears Research Clinic. A survey done by the AAE (American Association of Endodontists) found that 80 percent of Americans suffer from some degree of anxiety over dental visits.

When dental appointments are delayed or worse yet, avoided, patients oral health is affected dramatically. A small cavity can turn into a large one; gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, a tooth that could have been saved with root canal therapy can be beyond repair and require extraction.

Regular dental checkups and prompt care for problems that do arise make dental visits less stressful, promote good oral health, help patients avoid pain, and lower the cost of dental care. Dr. Karen Frazer Rea offers nitrous oxide or oral medication to ensure all of her patients can enjoy optimal oral health and stress-free visits in her Longview office.

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas or sweet air, is a mild form of sedation inhaled through a comfortable nasal mask. It has been used in dentistry since 1844. The gas takes effect quickly and wears off just as quickly when the gas is stopped, so patients can drive before and after their dental visits. Side effects are rare and nitrous can be used safely for most patients. It is not recommended for pregnant women, or patients with lung or breathing problems.

Oral Medication

The ease of administration and amnesic effect make oral conscious sedation an extremely popular option. The medication is taken in our office about 40 minutes before treatment begins. The patient is comfortable and relaxed without the need to wear a nasal mask. Generally, they are unaware of the passage of time, so the procedure may seem to take only a few minutes to complete.

After treatment, the patient must be driven home because they cannot operate machinery until the sedative wears off. Due to the amnesic effect, patients rarely remember much, if anything about the procedure, which is a big bonus for most anxious patients.

Call 903.753.3531 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Karen Frazer Rea and enjoy stress-free dental care.
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