Sedation dentistry is the practice of dentistry while using calming medications to soothe the patient. Many people may experience difficulties with standard dental procedures. For these people, sedation dentistry may be a solution to consider. There are a number of reasons why sedation dentistry might be used in place of the usual dental exam or other dental work.
Dentist-Related Anxiety or Fear
Being nervous about going to the dentist is a dilemma seen in both children and some adults. This problem can range from mild nervousness to intense feelings of fear. It's easy to understand why discomfort may occur. Patients in dental exams may fear losing the safety of their usual personal space, may feel physically vulnerable, or may dislike feeling dental tools in their mouths. Anyone might be nervous for these reasons. In addition, some people experience Dental Phobia, an irrational, long-term fear of dentists that leaves the patient terrified. Being somewhat sedated or being wholly unconscious during a dental exam can help with the problem of anxiety.
Other Reasons for Sedation Dentistry
According to one source, there are other reasons one might consider sedation dentistry besides fear or nervousness. Some of these are outlined below.
Problematic Gag Reflex. When an object is detected too far back in the mouth or towards the throat, the body exhibits the gag reflex, a spasm of the back of the throat. Most people should know that gagging feels uncomfortable, sometimes comparable to the feeling of vomiting. Normally, this reflex only happens when an unusually large object is inserted into the mouth. Depending on the person, however, the gag reflex may be triggered by smaller, harmless objects. These individuals may gag a lot when simple dental tools are used. For them being sedated is a big plus.
Sensitivity. Irritation or pain in the gums or teeth varies by individual. Gum disease, tooth decay, hot or cold sensations, and sores or punctures of the gums are known to cause discomfort in the vast majority of people. However, for some, similar discomfort occurs when there are no such problems. Simply brushing the teeth with a little too much force can result in pain or irritation in these cases. Therefore, sitting through a dental exam might feel highly vexing for those with sensitive gums. If the sensitive patient is sedated, however, there is less of this kind of distress.
Extensive Work and Difficulty Staying Still. Sometimes, a dental exam reveals that a patient needs a lot of dental work, such as filling many cavities. In standard dentistry, extensive work may require multiple visits. In sedation dentistry, however, it is easier to get more work done at once. While the patient is relaxed, or in some cases unconscious, he or she will not be bothered by the passing of time or the potential for increased irritation. Instead, the patient feels calm, sleepy, and without pain. Note that extensive dental work is doubly difficult for patients with Attention Deficit Disorder or those who have difficulty remaining still. Again, when partly or wholly sedated, the restlessness of sitting still will be decreased or eliminated.
Listed above are some solid reasons why people may have a rough time getting through dental procedures, and why sedation dentistry is the better option. If you struggle with dental work, consult your dentist about the possibility of sedation dentistry.