Sedation dentistry isn’t just for people with dental anxiety. While the practice is often used to help those who have trouble sitting calmly through routine cleanings, it also has uses for people who aren’t all that worried about it. Here are some ways sedation dentistry can help patients without any aversion to sitting in the dentist’s chair.
Sedation Dentistry Can Reduce Discomfort
Everyone knows that a dental appointment isn’t always the most comfortable thing in the world. Even if you aren’t afraid of the dentist, the scraping and poking can feel awkward at times and the sights and sounds can be bothersome. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can assist with this. When carried out by trained professionals, dental sedation is proven safe. By allowing patients to relax, sedation dentistry can help patients with low pain thresholds, teeth sensitivity, and sensitive gag reflexes.
Sedation dentistry can allow for a plethora of other benefits, including:
- Allowing the patient to remain awake and responsive while calm and comfortable.
- Reducing the amount of time for a procedure by making the patient more compliant.
- Allowing the dentist to perform multiple procedures by helping the patient to sit still.
- Potentially allowing for a quick recovery so a patient can have an appointment during a lunch break before heading back to work.
Sedation Dentistry Comes in Several Forms
There are a few different ways your dentist can take the edge off your next visit, including:
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
Having been used by dentists for almost two hundred years, laughing gas is the most recognized form of dental sedation. The dentist places a mask over the patient’s nose, which feeds a mixture of oxygen and gas to the nostrils. The treatment works quickly to relax the patient and raise the pain threshold. It wears off quickly after the mask is removed, and the body is usually rid of any trace of it within five minutes.
Oral conscious sedation
For oral sedation, patients take a prescribed pill usually one hour before their appointment. They arrive at the office already calmed. They are aware and responsive during the treatment, but they can also feel drowsy.
Administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, the patient’s discomfort will be even further reduced than with laughing gas or oral sedation. Patients will still be conscious, but much less aware. This requires a review of the patient’s medical history and a ride home afterward.
When it comes to dental discomfort, why stress out about it when you can suppress it? Dental sedation is a safe way to get through an appointment with minimal stress. It can help a patient efficiently achieve the desired result with a pleasant experience.
About the Author
Dr. Katherine Whitaker earned her doctorate from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. She also earned her certification in IV sedation from UAB, making her the only dentist within forty miles of her practice offering this treatment. Based in Corbin, KY, her office offers services including preventive, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry, dental implants, and dental sedation. If you’re curious about reducing discomfort in the dentist’s chair, contact her office online or dial (606) 523-1415.