If you’re feeling anxious about your upcoming dental appointment, sedation dentistry may be right for you! Oral conscious sedation is administered in the form of a pill about an hour before your procedure and will make you feel completely relaxed during your visit. You’ll still be awake and able to respond to your dentist’s questions throughout your treatment. Once your procedure is over, you’ll leave our office with no memory of what occurred while you were under the effect of oral conscious sedation. This benefit of sedation dentistry is especially beneficial for patients who experience dental anxiety. Your dentist may even suggest oral conscious sedation for dental implant placement or wisdom tooth removal. Here are the major benefits of sedation dentistry.
There are pros and cons to all types of sedation dentistry. Some patients build anterograde amnesia after waking up from general anesthesia. They can’t remember anything that happened during their procedure while they were under or they just have gaps in their memory.
Reduction in Gag Reflex
When you experience anxiety or stress in the dentist’s office, the gag reflex can be triggered. In order to lessen your gag reflex, your dentist can administer sedation and pain medications to help you relax during a procedure. A sedated patient will have no recollection of the procedure afterward.
Many patients fear the discomfort associated with dental treatments. Local anesthesia numbs the treatment area but can make it difficult for the dentist to work in your mouth. Instead, sedation dentistry allows your dentist to work with you in a relaxed state throughout your appointment.
Oral sedation is administered with a pill taken prior to your appointment and leaves you feeling drowsy. Intravenous (IV) sedation puts you in a sleep-like state but allows you to be woken up easily. IV sedation is more common with longer appointments or major dental work.
The Dentist Can Work Faster
A dentist who is administering sedation dentistry doesn’t have to worry about the anxious patient moving around, being uncomfortable, or clenching their jaw during the treatment. So the dentist can complete the procedure far quicker than if the patient were not sedated. When patients are awake and aware during a root canal or other procedure, it takes longer to tease apart the tooth, scrape out the infection, clean the canal, and fill and seal the canal. All of this takes time if the tooth is extra sensitive, has decay present, or is infected. If the patient is sedated during the treatment, there is some amnesia that occurs, which erases the memory of the pain caused by the procedure. This speeds up treatment because the pain is not lingering longer in the mind of the patient.
Dental anxiety is a very real thing, and many patients have their fear prevent them from getting the dental care they need. If you start experiencing symptoms of dental anxiety, book an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options.
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