Sedation dentistry is one of the latest trends in dental offices around the country. We have long offered forms of sedation, but nothing like what is available today! You may have seen old westerns or movies where a doctor, in the midst of an emergency, gives the patient a shot of alcohol to calm his nerves. The idea here is the same.
You might need something to help your body and mind relax while you are having a procedure done. It’s ok! Most people cannot sit through a procedure without some form of relaxation technique in place. Sedation dentistry does that.
When we think sedation, we normally think about a patient who is scared or nervous, but there are many other patients who could benefit from sedation dentistry. Today, we want to take a look at a few other groups of people who are often overlooked in the sedation discussion.
What is Sedation?
First, let’s talk about what sedation is. Sedation is a medicine that helps your mind and body relax. A lot of fear and pain is amplified when your body is tense, which happens when you are nervous. It is a natural response.
Sedation relaxes those muscles so that fear and pain are no longer a problem for you. You are so relaxed and calm that you hardly notice the dental procedure happening in your mouth. Remember, your mouth is completely numb, as well.
We offer two forms of sedation: nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide is more commonly known as laughing gas and is inhaled through a special mask throughout your procedure.
Oral conscious sedation is a prescription pill that you’ll take about an hour before your appointment. You’ll need a loved one to drive you to and from the office, but your sedation level will be much deeper and will start before you ever enter the building!
Who Can Benefit?
Sensitive Gag Reflex
Your gag reflex is another natural response that happens when the muscles in the back of your mouth react to an object in your mouth. You’ve probably done this to yourself when you brushed too far back on your tongue. Your body tries to expel the object as a natural defense against choking, but the sensation is not pleasant at all.
Some patients have an ultra sensitive gag reflex, which means that something as simple as a dental cleaning can be next to impossible. Sedation takes care of the problem by relaxing those muscles and allowing you to get your dental work done without heaving!
Can’t Miss Work
Are you a patient who can’t miss a lot of work for a dental procedure? We understand that dilemma! You need the work done, but you can’t be away from your job for three or four appointments to complete extensive work, which is what you would have to do without the help of sedation.
With sedation, we can help you feel so relaxed that you won’t mind sitting in the chair for a few hours while we complete your work in one appointment! You can miss one day of work and be back at it the following day!
There is dental fear, and then there is dental phobia. Most of us feel a level of fear about the dental office. After all, it’s difficult to allow someone to poke and prod in your mouth! However, dental phobia takes things to a whole different level. These patients go into full blown anxiety attacks when faced with a dental appointment.
Even so, these patients need regular dental care just like everyone else! Sedation allows them to get that care. We would offer oral sedation to these patients so that they can begin to relax before they come into the office. Once here, we can help them achieve a deeper level of relaxation by adding some nitrous oxide to their sedation regimen. We can complete the work and send them on their way while they still feel relaxed.
A group of people often overlooked at patients living with conditions that make understanding difficult. These patients might be living with dementia, autism, Alzheimer’s, or a level of mental disability. Coming into the dental office with our machines, masks, and medical environment can be extremely frightening for a patient who doesn’t understand what is going on around them.
Sedation is the safest way for this patient to get the care needed. With sedation, we can help this patient calm down and stay relaxed while we complete the dental work necessary for a healthy smile!
No patient should be overlooked when it comes to dental care. We want to see every patient with the smile of their dreams! If sedation is necessary to achieve that, then that’s what we will use!
Contact us today to learn more about sedation options for you or a loved one. We can’t wait to use this tool to help you get a better, healthier smile!