Sedation dentistry is typically recognized as something used for dental surgery or for patients that suffer from dental anxiety. But many other patients and situations can benefit from sedation dentistry. Dr. Matthew Harrison of Harrison Dental Associates, a dentist in Charlottesville, VA, discusses sedation dentistry and its benefits.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry entails the use of medication to help patients stay calm and relaxed throughout their dental procedures. At our office, we offer two kinds of dental sedation. First is nitrous oxide, which is also known as laughing gas. Oral conscious sedation is delivered in the form of a prescribed pill that you take before your procedure.
Nitrous oxide is breathed into the nose throughout your procedure. It both takes effect and dissipates quickly, meaning you can drive yourself to and from the appointment. The gas keeps you calm, relaxed, and sometimes even giddy throughout the procedure. However, you won’t be fully under and will able to be alert enough to answer questions from your dentist throughout the appointment.
Oral conscious sedation is another step further. You’ll take the pill an hour or so before you come in for your procedure. It’s deeper sedation than nitrous oxide, so you’ll need a ride to and from your appointment. While it’s not designed to knock you out, you may find that you’re relaxed enough to fall asleep or you may not remember parts of your procedure.
The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
First, sedation dentistry is ideal for patients that suffer from dental anxiety. Dental fear occurs on a spectrum. For some people, it may only be an issue with certain sights or sounds. For others, they may not even be able to enter the office. This leads to them avoiding regular dental care and can lead to severe dental issues.
Sedation dentistry can both allow patients with dental fear to get the regular dental care they need, as well as keep them calm for extensive restorative dentistry procedures. If they put off getting seen long enough, they may require multiple procedures to get back to having a healthy mouth.
Sedation can help other patients as well. In particular, it can help children or people that have movement disorders stay still for certain procedures. If patients aren’t able to stay still for certain treatments, it can put the patient at risk for injury and makes it harder for the dentist to do the work they need to.
It can help patients with severe gag reflexes as well. A gag reflex fights the dentist as they’re trying to perform the procedure. This makes things extremely uncomfortable for the patient and makes the procedure harder for the dentist. Sedation keeps the gag reflex calm and the treatment can be performed quickly and efficiently.
Sedation at Your Charlottesville, Virginia Dentist
Do you think sedation can help you? Call us or schedule an appointment online.