Kids are often scared of going to the dentist, and many adults never outgrow those fears. In fact, they may even put off regular visits and important procedures for this reason. However there is a solution for this problem, and many general dentists offer sedation dentistry. This is a popular choice for both patients and dentists for a number of reasons.
Putting off a dentist visit
Most people are aware of the need for proper oral hygiene and dental care. They may even feel that it impacts their social lives and careers. But they find themselves dreading that visit to the dentist, just as they did when they were kids. As many as 15% of American adults dread going to the dentist, whether it’s a regular check up or a major procedure like crowns or implants.
Fortunately, general dentists have a solution to the problem. This is sedation dentistry, and it is used when this is the only way a patient can undergo necessary dental procedures. This is popular with both patients and dentists, for somewhat different reasons.
Choosing sedation dentistry
For patients, this may be the only way they can have important procedures that are necessary for their dental health. It offer greater comfort and the work can be done more quickly. Perhaps most important, from the patient’s point of view, is that fact that there is no memory of the treatment afterwards. So there’s nothing to produce further anxiety and stress.
For dentists too, sedation dentistry has some advantages. It helps the patient relax and there is no gag reflex to interrupt treatment. Likewise, the patient does not move, and the treatment takes less time. Since more work can be done in each sitting, fewer appointments are needed for more complicated procedures like crowns and implants.
Types of sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry has come a long way since the early years when laughing gas was the subject of innumerable gags and witticisms. Nitrous oxide is still widely used as a sedative but now has few side effects. It is inhaled through the nose and provides light sedation for simple procedures.
Sedatives delivered via IV injections are used when heavier sedation is needed, as when the patient has a high level of anxiety. Oral sedatives in the form of pills or liquids provide light to moderate sedation where the patient remains conscious but does not experience any pain or discomfort during treatment. General anesthetic is used in a very limited number of cases, where the patient has an acute phobia, or for the most complicated and lengthy procedures.
Even though people recognize the importance of dental care, it’s still difficult to summon up much enthusiasm for a dentist visit. In fact, many are still outright terrified at the prospect of finding themselves n the dentist’s chair. General dentists use different types of sedation dentistry to make the treatment easier for patients.