Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
Sedation Dentistry Expertise
Sedation Dentistry (Painless Dentistry)
Millions of Americans suffer from significant dental anxieties. These are not just the usual nerves most people experience before going to the dentist. Instead, dental anxiety is a serious, nearly debilitating condition that can cause people to put off needed dental work for years.
That’s why Dr. Lindsey Marshall offers sedation dentistry, aka “painless dentistry,” to her patients in the Philadelphia area. With painless dentistry, Dr. Marshall can make either general dentistry or cosmetic dentistry visits much less stressful.
If you’re a resident of the Main Line area of Philadelphia and you suffer from dental anxiety, please call cosmetic dentist Dr. Lindsey Marshall at (610) 649-0696 to learn more about painless dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
In sedation dentistry, we will use sedatives to put you in a kind of “twilight” state. You will still be conscious enough to be aware of your surroundings and respond to Dr. Marshall’s instructions.
However, you will not feel pain from your cosmetic dentistry or general dentistry procedure. You will be in a pleasant, almost dream-like state. You likely won’t remember much of the procedure after undergoing painless dentistry.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Our Philadelphia-area patients who inquire about painless dentistry often have serious dental conditions that need to be addressed. However, their fears have prevented them from getting the procedures they need. Whatever the specific cause of your dental anxiety, our painless dentistry can help. Dr. Marshall will use sedation dentistry to give you a more relaxed, pleasant dental experience.
Dr. Marshall’s painless sedation dentistry can help you if you’re suffering from:
- A fear of needles
- Low pain tolerance and/or fear of pain associated with dental work
- A difficult, traumatizing or painful past dental experience
- Difficult associations with the sights, smells & sounds of a dental office
Sedation Dentistry vs Sleep Dentistry
Painless sedation dentistry is different from sleep dentistry, which uses a general anesthetic to put you to sleep during your procedure. With sedation dentistry your post-procedure recovery will be much shorter and simpler. Still, you should have someone available to drive you home after your appointment.
There are a wide range of sedatives used in painless dentistry, including:
Dr. Marshall will discuss all the details with you before you undergo painless dentistry. Make sure you reveal any drug allergies you might have.
Our Comfort Menu
Dr. Lindsey Marshall and her team make sure that every patient feels comfortable while visiting the office. Dr. Marshall offers the following amenities for her patients:
- The Wand – Computer controlled, painless delivery of local anesthetic
- NuCalm – Treatment for organically inducing a state of deep relaxation
- Anxiolysis – A light sedative to alleviate pain, fear and anxiety
- Sedation Dentistry
The Wand for Painless Dentistry
The Wand is a state-of-the-art solution for painless delivery of anesthesia to patients. Instead of relying on a human operator to inject anesthetic prior to a dental treatment, The Wand is a computer-assisted device that provides a slow, steady stream of anesthetic.
When patients experience pain from a shot, it’s usually because the anesthetic is injected too quickly or at an irregular pace, not from the needle breaking the skin. The Wand computer regulates the flow of anesthetic so patients can enjoy comfortable, painless preparation for their dental procedure. Along with the computer, The Wand also includes a hand piece device used to deliver anesthetic. Unlike a syringe, the dentist holds the hand piece like a pen or pencil.
Dr. Marshall prefers to use The Wand for sedation dentistry treatment because of its effectiveness at relieving both discomfort and patient anxiety. If anesthesia is necessary during your visit to our Ardmore office, some of the advantages of The Wand you can enjoy are:
- Speed: The Wand rapidly delivers the proper dose of anesthetic, saving you time and stress.
- Design: Many patients find that The Wand looks less intimidating than a typical syringe.
- Precision: Computer-assisted delivery makes it possible for Dr. Marshall to focus entirely on comfortable, effective positioning of the instrument.
- Single-tooth anesthesia: Only the treated tooth will be numb, leaving your lips, cheeks, and tongue comfortable and functional during and after the appointment.
Dental phobia isn’t just a reaction to physical pain. It also has a strong mental and emotional component that can make anxious patients avoid visiting the dentist even in emergency situations. The Wand makes it possible for Dr. Marshall and her team to change the look and feel of anesthetic delivery to provide painless dentistry that puts the body and mind at ease.
NuCalm is a treatment system for inducing deep relaxation in patients without the use of drugs. Instead, NuCalm technology organically alters the frequency of your brain waves (a process known as entrainment) to a calm state similar to the “twilight” feeling you get just before falling asleep.
Treatment with NuCalm relaxes you with the following steps:
- You chew dietary supplements that counteract adrenaline your body might produce in anticipation of a dental procedure
- Dr. Marshall positions micro current stimulation patches behind each ear to encourage relaxation
- Headphones worn over your ears broadcast calming music and soothing neuroacoustic tones to your brain
- Light-blocking masks over the eyes reduce visual stimuli and maintain your relaxation
All of these steps take approximately three minutes, and you could begin feeling a sense of tranquility as soon as five minutes into your appointment. Because the process involves no chemical sedation, NuCalm has no major side effects and doesn’t require any post-procedure recovery time before the patient can leave the office.
The most apparent benefit of undergoing treatment with NuCalm during your next dental treatment is the sense of calm that replaces the stress and fear you might have experienced during past visits to the dentist. However, NuCalm is capable of more than deep relaxation throughout the entirety of your procedure, including:
- A diminished sense of physical as well as mental tension
- No cognitive impairment, allowing you to listen and respond to Dr. Marshall throughout the procedure
- Dulled motor responses, reducing the risk of jumping or becoming startled
- Physiologic release, making your procedure easier by slowing down saliva flow and diminishing gag reflex
- A feeling of rejuvenation after the appointment, rather than the sluggishness that often attends sedation
By allowing you to experience a dental appointment consciously without feeling fear or anxiety, NuCalm can also help retrain your brain to cope more effectively with dental phobia. Reduced feelings of stress can help you begin building more positive emotions associated with seeing the dentist, meaning improved oral hygiene and diminished dread about your next visit.
Anxiolysis for Dental Anxiety
Some patients are so afraid of pain, needles, and other negative aspects they associate with dentistry that they skip even basic cleanings and exams. Lack of professional care significantly increases the risk of serious health problems like gum disease and oral abscesses. Anxiolysis is the treatment of anxiety using medications. Anti-anxiety medications are also called anxiolytics.
When used during dental treatment, anti-anxiety drugs make it possible for a nervous patient to relax in what would otherwise be a stressful situation. Treatment is often more comfortable and even safer with anxiolysis due to the reduction of physical responses like:
- Rapid breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Easily triggered gag reflex
- Extreme sensitivity to certain sights, sounds, and smells
Anxiolysis can be performed with a number of different medications. Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam) are two of the most common. Dr. Marshall might recommend an alternative based on your needs and medical history. NuCalm is another treatment option we offer for curbing anxiety.
Accommodating fearful patients is a major focus of Dr. Marshall’s comfort dentistry office. Anxiolysis is a mild form of sedation that creates feelings of:
- Stress release
- Muscle relaxation
Anxiolytics are not a type of anesthesia. Though these oral medications aren’t intended to “knock out” patients, some patients feel so relaxed that they fall asleep right in the chair during treatment. Others remain conscious but have no memory of the procedure.
After taking anxiolytic medication, you will feel relaxed throughout the duration of your visit to our Ardmore office. Other benefits include:
- Most healthy adults can take anti-anxiety drugs with little to no adverse reaction
- Delivery of anxiolytics doesn’t require needles or gas
- Consciously experiencing dentistry without pain or stress can be an effective way to begin overcoming fear of the dentist
Patients who are able to overcome dental phobia can begin enhancing their oral health with regularly scheduled appointments. Over time, they might even begin feeling little to no anxiety about upcoming visits.