There are a few things that strike terror in the heart of many. The IRS. The Boogeyman. Walking into a spider’s web.
And for some—a trip to the dentist.
Unfortunately, the age old image of a dental office filled with scary instruments and patients screaming deliriously persist in the modern day. This has resulted in many adults failing to see their dentists because of fear they may feel some discomfort and pain. However, this is far from the truth.
Advances in technology, medicine, and dental healthcare techniques have essentially neutralized pain in the world of dentistry. Some of the best developments have emerged in the field of sedation dentistry, which includes a number of techniques and medications used by dentists to help calm patients during dental examinations, cleanings, and procedures.
WhiteWing Dental in McAllen offers sedation dentistry services for individuals of all ages including special needs children, teens, and adults. Stop ignoring that visit to the dentist and properly take care of your oral health.
Why Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry has been proven itself to be a valuable tool against the fear of visiting the dentist; a form of anxiety so common that it has even earned an official name—dental phobia. By using a variation of medications, including oral medication, gas or nitrous oxide, IV, or general anesthesia, sedation dentistry has allowed patients who experience extreme anxiety to obtain the dental services needed to maintain their oral health.
Considering that an estimated 9% to 15% of Americans (about 30 million to 40 million people) avoid the dentists because of dental phobia, sedation dentistry has become a valuable solution for many families and individuals.
It’s also important to recognize that individuals who avoid the dentist run a higher risk of oral health issues such as gum disease. There’s also aesthetic issues that can arise, such as severely discolored or damaged teeth, which can result in a loss of self confidence and insecurity. On top of these concerns, research has shown that oral health is directly correlated to one’s general health, with those suffering from poor oral hygiene at greater exposure to infections, heart disease, and more.
Thankfully, sedation dentistry can be used safely and effectively to provide meaningful care to children and adults who are at higher risk of avoiding the dentists.
The Different Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are various levels of sedation dentistry but ultimately the intent of each method is to induce a state of calm and deep relaxation while removing pain and anxiety. The most common forms of sedation dentistry include:
- Minimal sedation—this is usually induced through the use of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing gas,” and allows you to remain awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation—at this level of sedation, patients may be required to take a pill prior to treatment to cause a relatively deep state of relaxation.
- IV Sedation—used for patients with severe anxiety levels, or special need patients who cannot refrain from moving, IV sedation can create a short amnesic effect on patients.
- General anesthesia—With the assistance of a general anesthesiologist patients are rendered unconscious and are unable to feel pain or anxiety.
These differing levels of sedation dentistry allow dentists and patients to choose from a variety of options that best suits their needs.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry.
Depending on your individual needs, sedation dentistry can offer a variety of benefits and advantages including:
Quicker visits to the dentist.
Your dental anxiety might emerge as constant fidgeting, which can result in the dentist taking longer than anticipated, or even having to do the procedure across several appointments. Make your visit to the dentist quicker by opting for sedation dentistry when possible. Your dentist will be able to get more done quicker and you can avoid having to make multiple trips.
Better cleanings and examinations for you.
Your dentist may not be able to do as thorough a job when you are obviously anxious and making the processes of cleaning and examination difficult. Sedation can help to relax you enough to the point that the dentist and their team of dental professionals can effectively and fully accomplish their goals. A better cleaning means healthier teeth for you—it’s a win-win.
Sedation dentistry works great for special needs patients.
Certain medical conditions may make it nearly impossible for a patient to control their movements. As dentists need a certain level of stillness, sedation dentistry can help to relax special needs patients and allow the visit to go smoothly.
Essentially no pain.
The fear of pain is basically the main reason many people avoid the dentist. Sedation dentistry offers pain-free dental care and actually helps to eliminate the fear of pain too. A beautiful smile with no pain? Sounds like a good deal.
You aren’t completely “out.”
Aside from general anesthesia dental sedation, most of the other levels of sedation allow you to remain awake. This means you are capable of following directions and answering questions as needed.
Sedation dentistry can be an affordable option for many patients who are dealing with dental anxiety. Don’t let your fear of the dentist keep you from taking care of your smile.
No bad memories.
Patients who undergo IV sedation usually experience an amnesic state, meaning there can be no bad memories of the treatment. This can be especially beneficial for patients who have had a traumatic experience in the past and are afraid of undergoing such an episode again.
8. A prettier smile and less dental problems.
By far the most important benefit of sedation dentistry (and really the reason for it all), a healthier smile and less dental issues should be the goal of every patient. Fear of visiting the dentist may have caused you to miss out on regular cleanings and exams. Sedation dentistry can you get back on track and back to the dentist. Avoid cavities, gingivitis, and other oral health issues.
Are you ready for that smile you’ve always wanted? WhiteWing Dental can help you get it.
Our Sedation Dentistry services mean you can come to our office knowing you won’t have to deal with the pain or anxiety of visiting the dentist. We work hard to provide you the best comforts and patient care. Plus, we can offer Sedation Dentistry services to families with special needs children.
Don’t hesitate any longer to visit the dentist.