At Premier Dental Care, we specialize in treating patients who suffer from dental anxiety. If you have been avoiding the dentist due to fear of what a procedure could be like, or simply do not enjoy having dental work done, give us a call. We’ll ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed regardless of what procedure is being performed. And during your visit, Dr. Hines will help you form a treatment plan for both in the office and at home to keep your mouth healthy, all the while easing any fears that you have about dentistry or procedures in general. Through education and information, we want to empower you to make decisions regarding dental care without experiencing any anxiety.

How can I ease my fears about dental care without medication?

When you visit our office, we can discuss ways we can help you relieve anxiety while receiving dental care. In addition to providing medication, you can try relaxing by drinking a glass of tea — there are several natural varieties available at health foods stores that will relax and calm you. Sometimes, this can be enough to put you into a naturally relaxed state. Other patients also find that they benefit from meditation and acupuncture.

How can I prepare for my dentist appointment?

Another easy way to calm your fears is to visit our Washington dental office and meet with Dr. Hines without having actual dental work performed. Taking the time to tour our office, where you can sit in the dentist chair and have a conversation, will allow you to become familiar with our staff and office environment. During that time, we can also discuss what you can expect from a teeth cleaning or a specific procedure so you can prepare mentally for how long it will take, what dental tools will be used, what you could feel during the process and what the recovery period will be, if any.

At Premier Dental Care, we’ve found that the more informed our patients are the more comfortable and relaxed they feel. And when the time comes for the actual dental work, they’re already in a familiar atmosphere with friendly faces.

Check out what others are saying about our dental anxiety support services on Yelp: Dental Anxiety Washington, DC

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Sedation Dentistry FAQ

We practice sedation dentistry in order to reduce and prevent dental anxiety. Here are some of the most common questions we receive:

Q. Will I be asleep when sedated?
A. The answer, typically, is no. Sleep dentistry is usually reserved for oral surgery and lengthy procedures. Sedation dentistry, on the other hand, will help you relax and can make you drowsy, so some patients do nod off, but you are technically not put to sleep.

Q. Can everyone use sedation dentistry?
A. To determine if you are healthy enough for sedation (most people are) we recommend that you schedule an appointment with our District of Columbia dental office. Dr. Hines will meet with you to discuss the type of sedation that would be best suited for your procedure and the level of dental anxiety that you are experiencing.

Q. How is sedation dentistry administered?
A. The most common form of sedation consists of taking a pill about an hour before the procedure begins. It can help you to feel entirely relaxed and completely eliminate your dental anxiety. Most procedures, like teeth cleaning or fixing a simple cavity, do not necessarily hurt, so many people are okay with sedation alone.. However, if you would like pain medication as well, we can give it to you after the sedation has taken effect.

Q. Will I be able to move around like normal?
A. Yes, with sedation dentistry you can continue to engage in conversation and respond to commands, but your response times may be slightly delayed and your mind not as clear as normal. This is why we recommend that you either have someone drive you home or wait until it has worn off completely before driving.

Q. Can children benefit from sedation dentistry?
A. Yes, typically children need sedation when having a lot of dental work completed so that they can hold still long enough for the work to be performed. This is a unique specialty and not offered at every dentist office.

Q. Are there any side effects of sedation dentistry?
A. Most of the time the sedation goes away within an hour of your procedure being complete. If you are more heavily sedated or put to sleep for oral surgery, however, it can take a couple of hours to feel normal — but this is rare. In our Washington dental office, we use the least amount of sedation necessary to help you to feel completely relaxed and comfortable so that it is effective without staying in your system for too long.

Q. Are there other ways to make dental work more comfortable?
A. Yes! Laser dentistry is transforming how dental procedures are being completed by allowing dentists to target small spaces without irritating the surrounding tissue. It’s far less invasive than traditional dental tools, which means there’s less bleeding and swelling, and less recovery time. Lasers can be used to treat tooth decay, gum disease, and in restorative procedures. If you want to reduce your dental anxiety without using medication, we highly recommend visiting a laser dentistry office.

At Premier Dental Care, we have found that when lasers are used many of our patients no longer need sedation or pain medication because the common factors that create dental anxiety are eliminated. For example, the noise, heat, and vibration that is traditionally associated with the dental drill is not present when using lasers.

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