While we always do our utmost to put our patients at ease and minimize any discomfort, it is a known fact that going to the dentist really frightens some people.
If you count yourself amongst this group of individuals, you might want to consider sedation dentistry. What exactly is sedation dentistry? It is a way to ease the anxiety of patients who are coming in for extensive procedures, or who just wouldn’t undergo the treatments otherwise.
When a sedated procedure starts, dentists issue a sedative in one of three ways: through an IV, orally (through a pill that you swallow), or by inhalation (if you’ve ever been administered “laughing gas,” you’ve probably received it through inhalation).
The sedative calms the patient, but still keeps them awake through the procedure. Also, because this sedative is administered before any local anesthesia, patients who get anxious about anesthesia, needles, or any other part of the dental procedure will feel calm and relaxed before any of those things occur. Just as importantly, these sedatives typically wear off pretty quickly, and most patients have no problem driving themselves home.
Sedation dentistry does come with an extra fee, and the patients who use it tend to feel like the cost is worth it in order to have a more enjoyable experience at the dentist. If you’re not already convinced, read on for addition benefits of sedation dentistry.
4 More Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Less Movement. Anxious or pained patients may move or fidget during an appointment. Fidgeting is not only uncomfortable for the patient, it also affects the precise work the dentist needs to do on a patient’s teeth and gums. Sedative dentistry prevents a lot of fidgeting, making the procedure more effective. Additionally, dental procedures done under sedation often go faster than other dental appointments due to the fact that dentists don’t need to adjust or stop for a patient moving around or needing a break.
Relaxed Gag Reflex. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, dentist visits can be difficult to say the least. Not only do patients who constantly gag tend to have an unpleasant visit, it can make the dentist’s job more difficult as well. Where do sedatives come in? They can control a patient’s gag reflex.
Fewer Appointments. Not all procedures can be done in one appointment, especially if multiple teeth are affected. Even a simple filling job can take hours in some cases. Rather than going back and forth for a half hour at a time over the span of weeks, sedation dentistry allows patients to get a big chunk of work done in one appointment.
Patients Are More Willing to Come Back to the Dentist. If you have been putting off a dentist appointment for a few months due to anxiety or fear, you’re not alone. Whether you like it or not, however, dental visits and procedures are very important for your oral health, ability to eat, and maintaining a bright smile. When patients are sedated, they are more likely to have a good experience, and won’t be as afraid to book an appointment in the future. Everyone should see a dentist once or twice a year, so sedation dentistry can end up improving your overall oral health going forward.
Want to learn more about sedation dentistry and its benefits? Reach out to our office.