When Should I Ask My Dentist for Sedation?
Pain and fear should never keep you from maintaining your oral health. Sedation dentistry offers an effective solution for many types of patients, helping them overcome any aversion to dental procedures. Nowadays, anesthetics can be used safely during extensive dental procedures and even routine cleanings.
Many patients find it difficult to express their fears with their doctor or dentist, but it’s important to trust that they work to put patients at ease and ensure stress-free treatment. Be open with your dentist about any anxiety or discomfort that you may have or have had in the past. Together, you and your dentist can discuss a plan for pain-free dental visits and procedures.
Specifically, you should request sedation dentistry if:
- You have anxiety about dental work,
- You have a history of pain,
- You are going to have extensive dental procedures or treatment.
Common Reasons to Request Sedation
It’s estimated that as many as 15% of Americans avoid the dentist due to anxiety and discomfort. If this is a factor for you, it’s time to consider sedation dentistry.
Here are the three most common reasons that we recommend sleep dentistry to our patients:
Anxiety about Dental Work
There’s no need to feel ashamed, many people – of all ages – fear the dentist. For some people, anxiety can be triggered by the sights and sounds of a dentist office or even by discussing a dental visit. Other patients may have a more general fear of needles, doctors or medical environments. We also treat a lot of people who have had traumatic dental experiences in the past. If you identify with these feelings, you should definitely ask your dentist about sedation options.
Also, be sure to mention to your dentist if you have been diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder; he/she may recommend sedation even for less invasive procedures.
A History of Physical Discomfort
Sensitive Gag Reflex
Patients with an overly sensitive gag reflex are good candidates for sedation. Some people have a difficult time during extractions or even routine teeth cleanings. For many of these patients, sedation is a successful method for calming the gag reflex.
Resistance to Local Anesthetic
For some people, Novocain and other local anesthetics aren’t effective at numbing pain. These patients have often endured painful dental procedures in the past, dealt with dentists who did not understand their resistance, and continue to avoid the dentist’s office because of their experiences.
Today, discomfort can be effectively managed for all types of patients. If you think that local anesthetics are ineffective at managing your pain or have had bad dental experiences in the past, sedation dentistry may be the best solution for you.
We understand that all patients are different and pain management plans must reflect that. Some people have painfully sensitive teeth or oral nerves that are more sensitive. We have worked on patients that have particularly small mouths or oral tissue that becomes sore following dental work.
Whatever issue you have that has caused discomfort in the past is an important part of your medical history. Discuss this with your dentist when you ask about sedation dentistry options.
Extensive Dental Procedures
Sleep dentistry can also help patients who require more complex or extensive work on their teeth. With sedation, your dentist may be able to complete longer procedures in a single visit. This can reduce the number of appointments required and decrease the amount of time away from work.
Dental procedures in which sedation can be helpful include:
- Complicated extractions,
- Smile makeovers and other cosmetic procedures,
- Deep-cleaning treatment for gum disease.
Read more about the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry.
Types of Sedation Dentistry Available
There are three common sedation options used in dental practices. These include:
- Nitrous oxide – Also called ‘laughing gas’; this more mild method requires the patient to inhale a special gas which helps to relax the body and mind during dental procedures.
- Sedative – For a deeper level of sedation, the dentist can prescribe a pill to be taken before arriving for your appointment.
- IV Sedation – For complete sedation, the patient can receive the sedative solution directly by means of an IV drip. This type of sedation can be safely administered to patients even for less extensive treatment and is an effective means of alleviating fear and discomfort for many.
When meeting with a new dentist or discussing upcoming treatment plans, ask your dentist which type of sedation dentistry is recommended for your particular case.
Ask Your Dentist about Sedation Options Today
Talk to your dentist about your past experiences, discomfort and anxiety that you may have about upcoming dental procedures. Sleep dentistry could help you be at ease in the dentist’s chair and get the treatment that you need.
We believe that oral health is a foundational part of your overall health. Dr. Briglia and his staff are certified to administer all three types of sedation to patients and have successfully implemented this helpful technique for over 12 years.
Don’t ignore your dental health or let problems get worse. Make an appointment with the Briglia Dental Group today and discuss the possibility of sedation. Call the office at (610) 615 0160.
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