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Sedation Dentistry for Special Needs Patients: Is It Right for You?

Going to the dentist can be a bit stressful for anyone, but it doesn’t need to be. The key to helping patients have a positive experience at the dentist is to create an atmosphere in which they feel safe, calm, and comfortable. This can be especially true for patients with special needs.

Maintaining your dental health is a key part of protecting your overall health, but fear of visiting the dentist or entering a potentially overwhelming environment can make some people more vulnerable to dental issues. That’s why the team at WhiteWing Dental is dedicated to giving all patients the support and treatment options they need to have a stress-free experience in our offices.

Alongside a comforting environment and experienced staff, dental sedation can help special needs patients have a better experience at the dentist. If you or a loved one has special needs that make it difficult to get dental care, keep reading to learn more about how dental sedation can help you get the treatment you need.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation, sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” involves using medications to relax a patient while they undergo dental procedures. Dental sedation comes in a range of levels that help your WhiteWing dentist meet your needs:

  • Level One — This level will leave a patient awake, but relaxed. For patients with low levels of phobias or fears, dentists may use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for level 1 sedation. 
  • Level Two — To reach this level, a patient may receive several medications; they will remain awake but not fully aware of their surroundings.
  • Level Three — Also known as IV Sedation, this level is often used when a patient is unable to sit still or control their movements while undergoing extensive dental work.
  • Deep Sedation — At this level of sedation, patients drift between a state of consciousness and unconsciousness and may not be able to respond.
  • General Anesthesia —  This type of sedation is rarely used as it renders the patient fully unconscious, but it might be needed for some patients with special needs.

Who May Benefit From Dental Sedation?

There are actually many patients who can benefit from dental sedation. This includes patients with phobias surrounding dental care, as well as patients with special needs, including certain physical, mental, behavioral, or cognitive needs. For example, many conditions can make it difficult for patients to sit still for extended periods of time, while other special needs can make it difficult for patients to follow some directions.

Another group that can benefit from low-level dental sedation is children. It’s common for children to be afraid of visiting the doctor or dentist, but low-level sedation can help them have a positive experience, starting their relationship with their dental health on the right foot.

For some, using a level one or two sedation for the first couple of visits may be enough. For others, continual dental sedation treatment may be needed.

If You’ve Been Putting off Dental Work, It’s Time To Stop

While you might feel like the only one struggling with keeping up with your dental health, the truth is that there are many conditions and situations that can make visiting new places, sitting still, or following directions a challenge. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, and your dentist should be more than happy to make sure you can still receive the care you need.

For those with special needs that make visits to the dentist daunting, it can be tempting to put off dental care or to ignore dental problems entirely. However, putting off dental care can lead to severe negative outcomes. 

Your dentist’s job is to help you take all the necessary steps to maintain your dental health, including:

  • Catching potentially serious health conditions as early as possible
  • Treating dental infections before they spread
  • Improving dental health outcomes and overall health outcomes as a result
  • Avoiding higher treatment costs for untreated conditions
  • Learning about at-home dental care solutions

Avoiding regular dental care can lead to patients having worse dental health, even if they take the proper steps at home. If you’re worried about taking a trip to the dentist, reach out to WhiteWing Dental today to learn about how we can help you feel more comfortable, with or without dental sedation.

Let WhiteWing Dental Help You Decide if Sedation Dentistry is Right

Whether or not you have special needs, it’s important for everyone to get their regular check-up and dental cleaning. However, at WhiteWing Dental, we know that special needs can make dental visits more challenging. Because of this, we work hard to provide exceptional service and dental health solutions that can meet the needs of every patient.

Our team is made up of dental professionals who are experienced in providing exceptional care to patients with special needs. Our office is dedicated to providing a positive experience to every special needs patient who comes to see us.

Reach out to the team at WhiteWing Dental today to schedule your regular dental cleaning! Your dental health is always worth it!

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