Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to make everything from routine tooth cleaning to invasive dental procedures comfortable for patients. Sedation dentistry allows dentists to accomplish as much as they can in one visit by keeping patients calm and relaxed. It can also reduce treatment time and office visits for a patient.
So what kind of patients can benefit from sedation dentistry?
Patients with Dental Phobia
One of the top reasons dentists use sedation dentistry is to assuage dental fears and anxiety. Nearly 50% of patients in the U.S. will avoid going to a dentist out of anxiety or fear, and in a survey of the 10 most common fears and phobias, dental phobia came out on top, followed by height phobia and spider phobia. Oral or IV sedation is also a great way for patients with fears of needles or dental instruments to relax during procedures.
Patients Who Don’t Respond to Numbing Agents
Some patients don’t respond as well as others to the numbing agents that are intended to prevent pain during the procedure. Sedation is a great way to make a procedure as painless as possible with or without traditional numbing agents. Most patients don’t experience pain or even discomfort while properly sedated.
Patients Who Are Sensitive to Surgery
Patients with extremely sensitive teeth or a low pain threshold can often benefit from sedation dentistry, as can patients who have a hard time staying still during dental procedures and patients with heightened gag reflexes. The extent of the dental work can play a role as well. If a patient is getting a lot of dental work at once, sedation is often used.
If you feel that you would have an easier time with a dental procedure through sedation dentistry, talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about your options!