Anxiety is one of the biggest reasons why people avoid dentists. It prevents them from getting the dental care they need. Sedation dentistry, sometimes called sleep dentistry, helps patients with anxiety relax and remain alert.
Sedation dentistry means that a patient is able to be less aware of what is happening during a procedure. For some procedures like root canals and extractions, patients are awake during treatment due to the discomfort that the procedure causes. However, sedation can be used for minor procedures such as teeth cleaning or whitening where the patient is not experiencing any pain or discomfort from the treatment. Patients who suffer from dental anxiety may also elect to be sedated so that they are able to have a more relaxed and pleasant experience in the dental office. Some patients choose to be sedated so that they can have multiple dental procedures performed in a single visit rather than scheduling them separately. For example, a patient who is nervous about having multiple fillings done may elect to have them all completed in one sitting under sedation, so they do not need to return for follow-up appointments.
Here are the benefits offered by sedation dentistry.
Patients who suffer from extreme anxiety or fear about the dentist often put off making an appointment until the problem has become more complex. If you suffer from severe anxiety or even simple nervousness before visiting the dentist, you may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Inhalation sedation involves inhaling a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas through a small mask while you are in the dentist’s chair. While you are breathing the gas, you will feel calm, relaxed, and in a generally good mood. However, you will still be conscious throughout the procedure so that you can respond to your dentist if necessary.
This method of sedation is commonly used for patients with mild and severe dental anxiety.
With sedation dentistry, patients often forget some or all of the procedure. This occurs because a patient’s memory of the procedure is completely blocked due to the sedatives being administered. However, if the patient is still awake, but they are completely unable to remember any parts of the procedure, this is known as anterograde amnesia. This can be beneficial for patients that are extremely nervous about going to the dentist and wish to have no memories of the visit at all.
Reduction in the gag reflex
Many patients experience the gag reflex to keep them from going to the dentist. Laughing gas can help to relax you and eliminate the gag reflex. This can help you get to your treatment and allow you to deal with less anxiety during your dental treatments. Having your treatment completed quickly and easily can allow you to be done with your appointment sooner so you can get on with your day!
When laughing gas is used, you won’t remember much from your procedure at all. You won’t have any recollection of any noises or smells during the appointment. You will, however, be quite relaxed by the end. This makes it an ideal option for those who are nervous about their dental care procedures. Your dentist will be able to work faster without worrying that you’re in pain or uncomfortable. It is possible to have treatments done with minimal to no pain at all! It’s also a great option for patients who can’t sit still for longer periods of time. You’ll be in a more peaceful state of mind during and after your treatment, so your dentist can get to work quickly and more efficiently.
Levels of consciousness during general anesthesia are comparable to sleep, which is why many people feel like they do not remember what happened during their procedure afterward. In addition, local anesthesia can be administered in addition to sedation to help numb the area being treated so that the patient does not experience any discomfort during a procedure.
The dentist can work faster
During your procedure, your dentist will feel comfortable doing a number of procedures at once. For example, if you need several fillings, he or she will be able to work on all of them at the same time on the same visit. Your dentist will also have more time to use tools that can speed up your appointments, such as rotary instruments that remove tooth decay and lasers that treat soft tissues.
Let us help answer all of your questions about sedation dentistry at our practice! Contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation.