Dental anxiety is an extremely common condition among American adults. Sedation dentistry is frequently used as an option to help settle patients' nerves and ensure they do not skip critical appointments and procedures out of stress or fear. Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to relax a patient during a dental procedure. The medicine…
Why Would a Dentist Recommend Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves using specific techniques or medications to help the patient relax while undergoing dental care. Generally, patients are still awake and aware during their treatment but feel more relaxed and at ease. There are many reasons why a dentist might recommend sedation dentistry.
When do dentists recommend sedation dentistry?
The type of dental care given depends on the needs of the patient. Sometimes, a dentist determines that a patient will receive better care under the influence of a sedative. A sedative might be given orally, via IV, or in the form of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas.
When a patient experiences anxiety
Many people find going to the dentist to be an unpleasant experience. However, some patients develop so much anxiety and fear surrounding the appointments that they avoid going to the dentist altogether, which can result in oral health problems. There are many benefits to administering relaxation aids to people who experience severe anxiety or fear at the dentist's office.
When a patient has a delicate gag reflex
Because dental work is performed in the mouth, dental procedures usually involve having to move or suppress the tongue. Gagging involves the involuntary movement of the mouth and tongue. For patients who experience this while undergoing dental procedures, sedation dentistry can help them to relax these muscles and make the procedure easier for the dentist and more pleasant for the patient.
When a patient has difficulty being still
There are many reasons why people have problems sitting still. For example, certain neurological disorders, such as restless leg syndrome, make it difficult for people to control their movements. Sedatives can provide temporary relief for those patients to ensure they receive the dental care they need.
When a person has tooth sensitivity
Many people experience tooth sensitivity when they try to eat ice cream or another cold treat too quickly. However, people with worn enamel, cavities, and other oral health issues experience this sensitivity to the extreme. These patients are good candidates for sedation dentistry, as the sedatives can calm their nerves and act as pain relievers. Patients should talk to their dentist before a procedure if they have been experiencing any tooth sensitivity.
Are there side effects involved in sedation?
As with any procedure or medication, there are certain risks and side effects involved in dental sedation. Some of these include:
- Drowsiness that can last after the appointment
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Bruising at the site when sedation is administered via IV
Always discuss any concerns with your dentist or another health care provider. A medical professional will only suggest a particular medication if they believe the benefits to you outweigh the potential of any harm.
There are several reasons why a dentist would recommend sedation during a dental appointment. If you believe you fall into any of the above categories, ask your dentist about your options.
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