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6 Reasons Sedation Dentistry Might Be Perfect for You

two dentists performing surgery on a patients mouth

There are plenty of reasons why you might feel uneasy about going to the dentist. Perhaps you’re anxious about the pain you might feel, or maybe you had a bad experience at a dental office when you were younger. Whatever the source of the worry, it’s usually strong enough that you might put off going to the dentist, even if you really need to go.

If this is the case, you’re not alone. Dental anxiety affects 36% of the population, and it can vary from being a little uneasiness in the waiting room to absolute terror as soon as you even think of the dentist’s office. It’s understandable to be anxious about a procedure where someone will be working in your mouth with pointed instruments, but regular dental care is essential for your health. So how, then, to push past the worry?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedatives or dental anesthesia to introduce a sense of relaxation and ease in the patient, and it’s not just for surgery. In fact, sedation dentistry might be just the ticket to making your next appointment with the family dentist a pleasant one. Here are six different ways sedation dentistry works for you.

1. It reduces or eliminates the pain you might feel.

Your dentist wants to make sure you’re as comfortable and relaxed as possible, which is why, even for things as minor as a cavity filling, they’ll likely use a local anesthetic and/or light sedation. Sedation helps mute how keenly you feel pain, which means instead of having to proverbially grit your teeth and bear it (which might cause some problems for your dentist!), you can simply lie back and relax in complete comfort.

2. It helps you manage your anxiety about the procedure.

We should be clear – when we say “dental anxiety,” we don’t just mean a passing feeling of worry. We mean the kind of anxiety that can flare up, paralyze you, and trigger your fight-or-flight response. Most folks with severe anxiety can’t control their response to it, which means that without sedation, they might panic in the middle of a procedure and injure themselves or the dentist as they try to cope.

Sedation dentistry helps prevent the brain from ever reaching that point of panic, which means you can stay safe and calm.

3. It allows the dental procedure to be completed more quickly.

Our goal is to provide you with excellent dental care in a reasonable amount of time. During some procedures, patients may feel the need to flinch or move, which can slow the dentist down. Sedation dentistry makes it easier for you to stay still and relaxed, which, in turn, makes it easier for your dentist to do the work you’ve asked them to do.

4. It can help prevent the formation of traumatic memories.

No matter how many good visits to your family dentist you’ve had, a single bad experience can instill an immediate and powerful aversion to future dental work. That’s why your dentist will always do their best to make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed during every visit. If a procedure is more invasive than cleaning, or if there’s likely to be some pain without an anesthetic, sedation dentistry can actually briefly prevent the formation of fresh memories. You may still be conscious during the procedure, but afterward, all you’ll be able to remember of the event itself is feeling relaxed.

5. It can help you control your gag reflex.

Gagging happens when the back of your mouth instinctively closes off to prevent your body from swallowing or ingesting something. If your gag reflex is easily triggered, you may be unable to prevent yourself from gagging or retching during a dental procedure. Nitrous oxide sedation can be used to help relax your muscles and prevent involuntary gagging, making it easier for the dentist to complete their work in a timely and safe manner.

6. It can make a visit to your dentist much more pleasant.

Ultimately, sedation dentistry is here to help make sure that your appointment is as pleasant and comfortable as possible, no matter what kind of procedure or treatment you’re having done. Whether you have sensitive gums or sensory sensitivity to the environment of a dentist’s office, just let your dentist know about your concerns. They’ll be able to recommend a method of sedation perfectly calibrated to your needs, and you’ll be able to keep your appointment.

If you’d like more information about sedation dentistry at our new Mapleview office in Barrie, give us a call at (705) 721-1143 or contact us online.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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