Sedation Dentistry

Maintaining excellent oral health revolves around seeing your dentist regularly, yet every year millions of Americans neglect to keep up their dental cleaning and exams. Why? For many, the reason is fear. 

Fear of the dentist or dentistry can present itself across a broad spectrum, from mild dental anxiety to severe fear. Studies have suggested that half of all adults in America suffer from some form of dental anxiety. That’s a lot of people who might miss out on essential preventative dental check-ups! 

The irony is that when people neglect preventive dentistry and regular dental care, they miss out on catching small oral health problems like cavities or gingivitis. Normally, these dental issues aren’t a big deal if we can treat them early on, but if left untreated, they develop into painful dental emergencies. 

This is precisely the nightmare situation that people with dental phobia fear, but at this point, it’s too late for a quick and easy fix. By the time that patients with dental anxiety seek professional care, they may need costly reconstructive work and pain management – perpetuating the cycle of fear. 

At North Tampa Dentistry, we understand this cycle, and we are dedicated to making patients feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible while they receive the dentistry they need. We create a calming and pleasant atmosphere with our gentle and compassionate dental team. Additionally, we offer sedation dentistry in North Tampa, FL to patients who need a little extra TLC. 

Sedation dentistry helps to manage dental anxiety that many patients feel before dental appointments. It allows Dr. Roberto Bellegarrigue to create a positive experience during their dental check-ups. We administer nitrous oxide to help patients relax deeply. We also offer oral sedation which uses prescription medication for improved peace of mind. 

We never want dental fear or anxiety to prevent patients from receiving the quality dentistry in Tampa, FL that they deserve! 

What Is Dental Anxiety?man smiling while on a hike

As with any phobia, the origin behind why it exists is different from patient to patient. Some patients had a terrible experience as a child that resonated throughout the rest of their lives. Other patients might have neglected their oral health for a long time and feel embarrassed and worry about the state of their teeth and gums. For other people who suffer from general anxiety, not being in control could contribute to their fear. 

The spectrum of fear, stress, and anxiety is varied and broad. Whatever the case is for you, we want you to know that at North Tampa Dentistry, we invite you to step into a judgment-free zone. We are ready and willing to work with you through your process, wherever you are in it. If the thought of a routine dental cleaning fills you with dread, we can administer sedation dentistry to create a dreamy and pleasant experience. Together, we can rebuild the way you look at dentistry. 

What Happens If I Don't See My Dentist?

While dental phobia is a real and sometimes severe condition, it often compels patients to neglect seeing their dentist regularly. Only a dental professional can completely eliminate plaque and tartar, even if you brush twice a day. Over time, bacteria will eat away at your enamel and oral health without you even realizing. 

Another example is gum disease, which starts as a reversible and treatable disease and can build up to tooth loss. The problem with dental issues is that they often don’t have many red flags. Most oral health problems don’t have noticeable symptoms until it’s too late. By the time you feel pain, it’s likely too late for a quick treatment and urgent dental care is necessary. 

Avoiding the dentist is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand. Just because you refuse to do anything does not pause actions that are already in place. Waiting until you feel pain to see your dentist only perpetuates an unhealthy cycle. At North Tampa Dentistry, we want to help patients associate the dentist with zero pain and happy visits. 

By coming to North Tampa Dentistry routinely every six months, Dr. Bellegarrigue can identify and treat many future dental emergencies early on. 

Sedation Dentistry That We Offer

Dental technology has advanced a lot over the years; it helps us streamline dental procedures and make each visit more relaxing. If you haven’t been to a dentist for a 

while, you might be very pleasantly surprised at how efficient, and pain-free your experience is. 

At North Tampa Dentistry, we offer two levels of sedation: 

Nitrous Oxide 

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide gently calms and relaxes patients. It helps patients disassociate from their fear and anxiety and even feel a little dreamy. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to respond to Dr. Bellegarrigue, but you will feel untroubled as he cares for your teeth. We will be able to adjust the dosage and make sure you feel cozy. 

One of the conditions of nitrous that patients really like is how quickly it fades when we take the mask off. Patients almost always can drive themselves home just minutes after the procedure, or whenever they feel comfortable leaving. older couple smiling and holding one another outside

Oral Sedation 

For patients who might have higher levels of anxiety, we offer oral sedation. We have patients take an anti-anxiety prescription medication by mouth 30-60 minutes before their dental appointment. This sedation ensures that patients are relaxed enough to allow Dr. Bellegarrigue to do his job properly.. 

Like nitrous oxide, patients can still communicate and follow instructions from their dentist, but they may feel less concerned and worried. 

We ask that patients have a driver who will drive them home after their appointment and relax and take it easy for the rest of the day. 

Sedation Dentistry Allows Patients to Maintain Their Smiles

At North Tampa Dentistry, our fantastic dental team works hard to make sure that your dental treatment is as fast, painless, and cost-effective as possible. By maintaining preventive dental care, patients can keep their dental visits short and stress-free. 

Dentistry is a collaborative process and works best through constant communication between Dr. Bellegarrigue and his patients. There is no cause for embarrassment or hesitation if you aren't fully confident about your dental procedures. We fully understand how overwhelming it can be to face your fears; we just want you to know that you're not doing it alone. 

We will walk you through each step and explain each procedure fully. We find that patients who are active participants in their own oral health and who understand the process of every dental treatment tend to feel less anxiety. Patient education goes a long way in establishing trust, growth, and security. 

Has it been a while since your last dental cleaning? That’s completely fine. We will work with you to break the cycle of fear and anxiety. older woman subtly smiling while looking off into the distance

Experiencing a dental emergency? Find an emergency dentist near me easily and right away. 

Call our Tampa, FL dental office to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Bellegarrigue and his excellent dental team. We’ll go over your needs and concerns, and together we can determine the level of sedation you need to feel secure and happy while we keep you healthy.