Sometimes, dental phobia keeps people from seeking dental treatment. Dental anxiety or fear can keep patients from going to the dentist for years. The fear of the dentist often starts in childhood but can continue to persist throughout adulthood. Sedation dentistry can help address this fear.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Patients who have dental anxiety or fear often experience dental distress because of these feelings. At-home dental care is difficult to follow through, which means many patients neglect their teeth and end up needing more invasive treatments than they would have if they had simply visited the dentist for regular cleanings. Thankfully, many dentists can provide sedatives for anxious patients to help them remain calm throughout the treatment process.
Oral conscious sedation is a common form of sedation that involves the patient taking a pill before their appointment. The medication makes the patient feel calm and relaxed without making them groggy. They can still be awake and aware and respond to the dentist’s requests during the procedure.
Inhalation sedation is another popular option that allows a patient to breathe in nitrous oxide to feel relaxed and comfortable during treatment. Local anesthetics and numbing gels can also be used to help keep pain to a minimum. These options allow a patient to relax and feel comfortable while they receive the treatment they need.
Patients who struggle with dental anxiety should make an appointment with our dentist to discuss these options. We can assess their individual needs to determine which sedation method is recommended. Patients should discuss their medical history and current medications with our dentist before a procedure is started.
Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry
There are numerous benefits to opting for sedation dentistry, especially for those who suffer from severe dental anxiety:
- Reduced anxiety: The primary reason many patients choose sedation dentistry is to alleviate their dental fear and anxiety. The calmness experienced during the procedures makes dental visits a more positive experience, ensuring they won’t avoid future visits.
- Fewer appointments: With sedation, dental professionals can often complete more work in a single visit, reducing the number of appointments a patient might need. This is especially beneficial for patients who require extensive treatments.
- Memory suppression: Many people don’t want to remember the sounds or sensations of a dental procedure. Certain sedatives can provide an amnesiac effect, where patients remember little to none of the procedure once it’s over.
- Decreased gag reflex: Some patients have a sensitive gag reflex that can interfere with dental procedures. Sedation can help to suppress this, making treatments smoother for both the patient and the dentist.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Before administering any sedative, our dentist will perform a full medical history review and make sure there are no underlying conditions that may be contraindicated for sedation. The medications used in oral sedation are administered orally and mimic the language of neurotransmitters in the brain. This makes them extremely safe and easy for patients to use while still being extremely effective at preventing pain.
Most patients are able to achieve a deeper level of relaxation using oral sedation than they would with nitrous oxide or laughing gas. With a single pill, they can reach states of relaxation that would normally take them multiple appointments to reach. In addition, the sedatives used have minimal side effects, including drowsiness. Once the patient is in a state of deep relaxation and calm, the dentist can complete their work without having to deal with the patient becoming anxious or nervous.
To find out more about the dental services offered at our Prairie Village, KS dental practice, call our office or schedule an online consultation.