Not everyone is comfortable with going to the dentist – in fact, for some people, just the thought of undergoing a dental procedure makes their heart skip a beat. Unfortunately, this fear and anxiety can keep people from getting the dental care they need, which can lead to troublesome conditions such as gingivitis, discolored teeth, periodontal disease, or even tooth loss. Fortunately, there is a way for people who suffer from dental phobias to still get the care they need without all the stress: It’s called sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry provides patients with the ability to stay relaxed throughout their dental procedure, so that the entire process can be stress-free and pain-free. With sedation dentistry, dentists will typically administer some type of medication (e.g., ketamine, nitrous oxide, propofol, Halcion, or midazolam) to help patients calm down, relax, or even fall asleep. The type of medication required will be determined based on the level of anxiety you have. You can receive sedative medication through inhalation, swallowing a pill, or intravenously, so that you can be relaxed and comfortable (or maybe even asleep) during your dental procedure. This provides you with an opportunity to still take care of your teeth like you need to without having to worry about navigating the anxieties and nervousness you might have about going to the dentist.
Four Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
1. It puts patients into a relaxed state
First and foremost, sedation dentistry gives nervous patients the chance to finally relax in the dentist’s chair. This is important not only for psychological reasons, but it has practical benefits as well: Some patients might unconsciously offer resistance to certain aspects of the procedure as a type of defensive or self-protective response, while others might deal with uncontrollable movements due to a medical condition (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, etc.). Sedation dentistry can put these patients into a relaxed state, so that the entire procedure can be performed with minimal stress or interruptions.
2. It saves time.
Many times a dentist cannot complete all of the procedures that need to be done in one sitting due to the patient’s anxiety or tolerance level. With sedation dentistry, dentists can save time and cover more work with fewer appointments, so that there will be no need for multiple visits.
3. It’s affordable.
Sedation dentistry is a reasonably priced procedure, making it affordable for most people to take advantage of.
4. It provides a pain-free experience for dental patients.
Sedation dentistry allows patients to undergo dental procedures (even lengthy ones) without feeling the pain. This is obviously a huge benefit for people who fear feeling pain or discomfort during a dental procedure. With these worries safely out of the equation, patients are able to go through the entire procedure with a sense of calm and comfort.
It is commonly recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year, but if you suffer from dental anxiety, you can typically think of a dozen reasons to keep putting it off. While this might not seem like a big deal at first, it can come back to bite you in the long run. So many people needlessly suffer from serious dental problems due to the simple fact that they neglected to visit their dentist regularly, and over time their dental health worsened because of it. With a tool like sedation dentistry at your disposal, you now have everything you need to keep your teeth healthy and enjoy stress-free visits to the dentist.