Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

smiling patient at a dental clinic

Do you get clammy or trembling hands, waves of nausea or a feeling of dread when you think about visiting our dentist? If your answer is yes, you are far from alone. These symptoms are just some of those regularly seen in patients who suffer from dental phobia. Estimates suggest that anywhere between 10% and 15% of American’s experience a debilitating degree of dental anxiety, with some symptoms so severe that the sufferer completely avoids trips to their dentist. Recognizing this widespread problem, an increasing number of dentists are now offering their patients the opportunity to try sedation dentistry, in the hope that it will alleviate their anxiety and make everything from check-ups to invasive treatment tolerable.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry isn’t a new development, but it is now much more widely available than before. It involves the use of sedative drugs to induce a calm and relaxed state, so that the patient can tolerate the processes necessary to perform dental assessments and treatments.

There are a range of different sedatives used, meaning that your level of sedation can be tailored based on the extent of your anxiety and the type of dental work you require. While patients with mild anxiety may only need some nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to make their dental appointment tolerable, a patient with severe dental phobia may require heavy sedation administered intravenously. However, in all sedation, except that using general anesthetic, the patient is awake to some degree. The heavier the sedation is, the stronger the after-effects the patient will experience, which could include drowsiness, slurred speech and problems with balance and co-ordination. These effects will wear off a few hours after the procedure.

Benefits of sedation dentistry

There are a number of reasons why an increasing number of patients are now turning to sedation dentistry to support them through their crucially important dental appointments.

Less pain

One of the biggest reasons that people fear the dentist is that they are worried about the pain that may be experienced during their treatment. While sedatives have no actual effect on the pain receptors in your body, they do help you to feel more relaxed which will in turn increase your ability to tolerate discomfort. That said, anesthetic will also be used during any invasive procedure.

Less risk of complications

Dental treatment can be a fiddly process. The teeth and oral cavity is small, and many procedures require infinite precision and care. Accuracy and care requires a patient that can become and remain completely still, sometimes for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, when a patient is anxious or scared they are much more likely to squirm or jolt, putting themselves at risk of injury or other complications.

Greater time for our dentist

When we are rushed, it can be easy to make mistakes. The same principle applies to our dentist, who may feel under pressure to get the work done as quickly as possible. However, by being sedated, you will certainly be calmer for much longer, giving our dentist the time he needs to perform your dental work with maximum care, precision and accuracy.

Better dental and general health

By choosing sedation dentistry, you can make regular visits to our dentist tolerable. These appointments are essential for the early identification and prompt treatment of dental problems, which in turn could prevent the development of general health conditions associated with poor oral health. These include Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of sedation dentistry, or if you would like to discuss your candidacy further, please make contact with our dentist.