Some patients hear about sedation dentistry and think “I don’t need that—I’m tough!” Toughness aside, there are many reasons why people might seek out sedation for dental procedures. You don’t have to suffer from an irrational fear of the dentist (or needles) to take advantage of its many benefits!
Dental anxiety may be the number one reason why people seek out qualified sedation dentists, but it’s not the only one. There are many circumstances and situations in which ordinary “tough” patients might benefit from a deeper level and relaxation and comfort during their dental visits.
If you’ve ever sat through a long, slow root canal and thought “will this ever end?” then you may want to think about sedation for your next long appointment. Sometimes patients who need multiple treatments that would ordinarily require two or three office visits can get them done in a single afternoon, thanks to sedation.
With light levels of conscious sedation, patients can often withstand long appointments without getting restless, bored, or irritable. While conscious sedation does not induce a state of unconsciousness, many patients find its effects so relaxing that they easily fall asleep, even while treatment is in progress.
Low Pain Threshold, Sensitive Teeth
It’s a fact that all good doctors will agree upon: different people have different levels (and types) of pain they can withstand. Given that some people have sensitive teeth and gums, it’s understandable that the same treatment might affect different patients in far different ways.
If you have a tendency to “cringe and bear it” when getting a dental cleaning, dental sedation may offer you a more comfortable experience at your next appointment. While some forms of sedation target psychological anxiety, other forms provide an analgesic (painkilling) effect that can alleviate the pain you’ve been suffering in silence.
Do you get antsy during dental appointments, and often feel like you need to take a break to stretch your legs? Is the phrase “nervous energy” often used when others describe you? If so, you’ve probably had a hard time sitting still during dental appointments in the past. There’s no shame in wanting to enjoy a more relaxed appointment. Oral conscious sedation can help both the body and mind relax, so you can enjoy a more restful and calm experience.
Sensitive Gag Reflex
It’s a medical fact that some people have a more sensitive gag reflex than others. Individuals with this condition may be more prone to vomiting when they develop a cough and may even have trouble brushing their teeth sometimes.
If you’ve ever experienced a gagging sensation while your dentist is working on your teeth, you may have a sensitive gag reflex; Sedation dentistry can help you alleviate this problem. The medications that induce relaxation work on the body as well as the mind, so all your reflexes are more relaxed than usual.
For the same reason, patients with diseases that affect the central nervous system often use sedation to get through their dental appointments. For example, patients with cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease routinely use sedation to help them stay still during treatment.
Aversion to Dental Visits
Some patients don’t have a fear of the dentist, per se, but they really hate going! If you know someone who’s ever said “I don’t need a dentist; they’re all crooks” and proceeded to let a cavity advance to the point of needing an extraction—you know this type.
An aversion to dentistry usually stems from a bad experience or an insensitive provider in the patient’s past. There often is a good bit of fear underlying their emotions, even if stubbornness seems like the main problem. With patients like these, low levels of sedation can often make them feel more amenable to treatment. If you can get them through the door, we can often help “hard cases” like these.
Sedation Dentistry is Safe, Comfortable, and Easy
Ultimately, sedation dentistry has been used safely for decades and rarely causes unwanted side effects in properly screened candidates. Dr. Frank Straus has put many years into his training as a sedation specialist and takes great joy in providing his patients with happier dental experiences.
When you come to Advanced Dental Care of Richmond we will discuss your oral health and medical history, as well as the challenges you’ve faced in prior dental appointments. Together, we will help you decide whether you want to pursue dental sedation for your next routine visit.
Call us at 804-741-4177 to set up an appointment with Dr. Straus or Dr. Han. We look forward to helping you have a more positive dental experience at our Richmond, VA practice.