There are millions of Americans who are absolutely terrified of going to the dentist, the mere thought of the dental chair fills them with dread and anxiety. They often avoid going to the dentist altogether but that just leads to pain and more serious problems. Fortunately dentists have come up with a way to make going to the dentist a lot easier with a technique known as sedation or sleep dentistry.
Sleep dentistry is being used in dental offices all across the country for procedures that don’t normally require any type of anesthetic. Sleep dentistry is ideal for pediatric patients who may not be scared but lack the ability to sit still to have a procedure completed. Dentists are now taking courses in sedation dentistry to be able to offer this service to their more nervous patients. Here are some of the benefits that sleep dentistry can offer your patients.
Patient Relaxation: If your patient is more relaxed and comfortable about having treatments done, they can complete necessary treatments easily.
More Comfortable: The patient feels no discomfort during the procedure and the whole trip to the dentist is no longer unpleasant for them.
Less Resistance: With less resistance and fear from patients dentist can complete the procedure quickly and easily.
No Memory of Treatment: The patient is asleep for the entire procedure so they are not haunted by fear or thoughts of the procedure later.
Controlling the Gag Reflex: There are many patients who have a problem with gagging as they undergo a dental procedure and this makes it hard for the dentist to get the procedure completed. When the patient is sedated it helps to control the gag reflex and get the procedure completed.
While we refer to sedation dentistry as “sleep dentistry” the patient is not technically asleep. They are given medication that makes them so calm and relaxed they are in a state that looks very much like they are sleeping. The patient will not carry on a conversation nor will they respond to the physical stimulation so they aren’t feeling any pain. There are three ways that medication to help them relax can be administered, either orally, intravenously or through inhalation. Many dentists will offer all of these options, many will choose not to offer intravenous medication as it can cause other problems for patients.
Sedation dentistry may not be the perfect solution for everyone and you should never feel pressured into accepting sedation. There are many nervous patients who are more comfortable being wide awake and having a dentist talk them through the procedure. Always check with your dentist to see if sedation dentistry is an option, giving you the choice.