I believe I’m not alone when I say that a visit to the dentist would have me either fainting on the spot or throwing up the moment I hear the fateful news. I also believe I have company when I say that if I do neither, I would probably run for cover at the mere mention of a dental visit.
Many individuals have this unexplained fear of visiting the dentist. Call it a phobia or a nauseating feeling, but don’t be surprised when you meet people who actually skip their dental appointments owing to fear of visiting the dentist. These people (including me of course) would do anything and everything from visiting a dentist.
It’s not good to skip regular dental checkups. And it’s not good to keep on ignoring existing dental issues. So what is the best possible way to get your dental problems fixed and overcome your fear of the entire process at the same time? The answer is simple. Sedation Dentistry!
What exactly is Sedation Dentistry?
Quite a popular procedure these days, sedation dentistry involves sedating a patient right before he/she undergoes a dental procedure. The dentist would administer a medication that would soothe the patient’s nerves and relax him/her to the point that he/she does not feel a thing.
Sedation dentistry would also numb the mouth so that the patient does not feel any pain during the dental procedure. The patient would feel as if he/she is in a state of sleep as the dentist performs the dental procedure. As a result, the patient would be able to overcome his/her fear over the entire procedure.
General Types of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is performed either orally (via medications like zaleplon, hydroxyzine, or larazepam etc.) or via laughing gas (nitrous oxide). In the case of the former, the dentist would ask the patient to take the medication before the appointment.
Once taken, the medication would cause a condition called retrograde amnesia wherein the patient does not have complete memory of what happened during the procedure. In these cases, the patient would need to be accompanied by someone before and after the dental appointment.
The Best Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Overcoming The Fear
One of the greatest benefits of sedation dentistry is that it makes the patient overcome his/her fear of visiting the dentist. The procedure has been accepted readily by many individuals who had just about lost all hope of ever getting their dental issues fixed till now.
Even individuals who suffered from traumatic experiences in the past can relax and let their dentist do his/her work without crying out or making any sudden movements. Sedation dentistry can also help individuals relax and remain calm during long or complex dental procedures like bridges, dental implants, porcelain veneers and crowns etc..
Reducing The Pain Involved
Much of the pain involved in a dental procedure comes from prolonged muscle tension which in turn arises due to a tensed, stressed out body. When an individual becomes stressed, his/her body automatically tightens up, thus tightening facial muscles in the process. This would cause extreme discomfort, pain, and soreness both during and after the dental procedure.
Sedation dentistry would enable an individual to relax without actually realizing it. A relaxed body would lead to relaxed muscles which in turn would greatly reduce the pain, soreness and stiffness experienced post the procedure.
Reducing the dentist’s workload
A dentist would be able to perform his/her duty with ease only if the patient cooperates. Flinching, twitching and other sudden movements can not only distract his/her concentration, but can also pose potential threats to the patient (for instance a sudden movement can cause the medical tool to get lodged in the mouth or cause cuts, wounds etc.)
Sedation dentistry would enable the patient to relax to the point that he/she hardly remembers the sights and sounds involved in the procedure, let alone the procedure itself. The patient would remain in a sleep like state and so would make minimum movements as the dentist works on the latter’s issue in peace.
Tackling Sensitive Teeth
Individuals with sensitive teeth would find it extremely hard to undergo dental procedures owing to the pain they would feel even with a slight prod. Sedation dentistry would enable them to relax and be unaware of any sensation during the procedure. This would also minimize the pain and soreness experienced afterwards.
Resistance to Local Anesthesia
Some people experience a resistance to the local anesthesia and the numbness that follows it during a dental procedure. These individuals feel the pain even after administering the anesthesia. In these cases, sedation dentistry can help the patient relax and not feel a thing during the procedure.
Other Conditions where Sedation Dentistry Works Best
Some individuals would have difficulty in swallowing the oral medication prescribed for anesthesia and so can opt for sedation dentistry to overcome this issue and take care of their dental problems at the same time. In some cases, a patient may feel nauseated by the smell of the equipments and medications present in the room.
He/she may also have a strong gag reflex that would force her to vomit every time an instrument is placed in his/her mouth. These patients would benefit greatly from sedation dentistry which would enable them to lose sensation for the time during which the dental procedure can be completed without any hindrances.