Why We Use Sedation Dentistry
Does your dental anxiety keep you from visiting the office? More than 15%—or 30 million Americans—admit to avoiding the dentist due to varying degrees of fear. Unfortunately, many times when patients avoid the dentist for long periods, the amount of work needed to get their mouth back into good shape requires several more intensive visits.
For those with a demonstrated anxiety about going to the dentist, it can be too much for them to handle. For some patients, the fear stems from appointments when they were children, or from a single traumatic moment; for others, it can be a generalized anxiety.
If you’re able to identify with these feelings, or you can admit to skipping years of dental appointments, the experts at Dr. Ku’s office want to help you! Through the practice of sedation dentistry, Dr. Ku is able to remove anxiety completely from the appointment and leave you confident and secure about your dentist visits.
Let’s back up. What exactly is sedation in dentistry? This is a common question asked by our patients. Each form of sedation works a little differently, but they all work overall with the brain and nervous system to reduce fear and anxiety while many times blocking out any memories of the event. Many patients report feeling a sense of deep relaxation throughout the appointment. There are three common types of sedation commonly used in dentistry. They are:
- Nitrous oxide or laughing gas: This is the mildest form of sedation and generally leaves patients feeling relaxed or euphoric.
- Sedative pills: This includes prescription medication like Valium or Xanax. If you choose to go this route, it’s important you discuss it with your dentist and only take the recommended dosage.
- Intravenous sedation: This is the most invasive option which is normally reserved for complex oral surgery.
The benefits of sedation density are why we choose to use it at our practice. In order to combat tooth decay and gum disease—or identify even larger issues such as oral cancers—patients must be willing to come to the office and sit in the chair. If fear is what’s stopping them, then it’s crucially important to eliminate the fear. Sedation dentistry allows for us to do that.
Besides general anxiety, many of our patients are concerns about their gag reflex. When under sedation, patients lose the fear of choking or gagging. This allows them to relax and even nod off to sleep. I bet you never thought you would get to catch a few zzz’s at the dentist office!
For dentists, sedatives can allow us to perform multiple procedures in one appointment, too. The ability to perform more work at once prevents anxious patients from having to come back multiple times.
Finally, sedation dentistry is helpful for those with special needs. Many times, the bright lights, loud noises, and foreign smells can be too much for some of our patients. Through sedation dentistry we are able to make an environment that is comfortable for everyone.
All of our practitioners continue to pursue cutting-edge advancements in our field. This includes participating in continuing education classes that allow us to be on the forefront of the sedation dentistry field. We believe that our knowledge of sedation dentistry is beneficial to all of our patients and will also encourage those who have been avoiding care to find a way to visit the office. If you are anxious or have been avoiding care due to fear, please call our office today. We can walk you through your options!
Also published on Medium.