For those worried about going to the dentist, dental sedation could be what they’re looking for.
If the mere thought of having to go to the dentist for any kind of procedure, from a filling to an extraction or anything else, fills you with dread and makes you break out in a sweat, there’s no reason to worry, for you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world, including many here in Ireland, have a fearsome dread of going to the dentist and put it off even if they’re in unbearable pain.
Thankfully, due to modern dentistry practices, help is at hand. And for those who are terrified of having anything done at the dentist, dental sedation is the ultimate answer to their prayers. It’s a solution that can put you totally at ease, far more so than having a local anaesthetic that will just numb the area being worked on and where you’d still be fully alert and possibly also anxious about what’s being done.
What Is Dental Sedation?
Dental sedation — also known as sleep dentistry — uses medication to make patients relax and feel at ease when they’re in the dentist’s chair and having something done. You’re not actually asleep — unless you happen to have general anaesthesia — but awake and aware of what’s going on while at the same time feeling relaxed and not worried about anything. It’s beneficial to be awake during dental procedures, as the dental team may ask you to do various things, such as open your mouth wider, put your head in a certain position or rinse your mouth or spit.
Most people will have heard of so-called laughing gas, and this is what’s typically used for dental sedation. It’s nitrous oxide and, along with oxygen, is breathed in through a mask — and you won’t be in fits of giggles while the procedure is being done; instead, you will just be in a relaxed state. The benefit of nitrous oxide is that the dentist can control the amount you get and it wears off quickly. That means that by the time everything is finished, you’ll be able to hop in your car and drive home.
Dental sedation can also be given in pill form or via an intravenous drip; these are more moderate forms of sedation and patients will experience a deeper level of relaxation. Afterwards, you’ll feel groggy or sleepy and will need someone to take you home. Whichever type your dentist will use on you, you’ll also usually have a local anaesthetic in the area being worked on so you don’t experience any pain or discomfort.
Why Should You Have Dental Sedation?
Dental sedation is beneficial not only for nervous patients but your dentist too. That’s because dental procedures can often be detailed and complex and require precise work in hard-to-reach areas — such as a root canal at the back of the mouth — or when the dentist is working on a nerve or removing dead pulp from the tooth. An anxious patient can make the work more problematic due to a possible jerking of the head or wanting to stop and have a break.
So dental sedation makes it all so much easier for whoever’s in the chair and the person working on them. If you’re due to have a procedure and are anxious or worried about it, you might want to consider dental sedation. You’d be relaxed and care-free as the dental team got on with their work, and it would all be over in a flash.
It can also help if you have a low threshold for pain or find it hard to lie back and keep still while in the dentist’s chair — or if you have a bad gag reflex and the thought of lots of instruments in your mouth fills you with terror. Dental sedation is also advantageous for patients who require a substantial amount of work done in one session.
Now, there is nothing to fear.
Worried about an upcoming dental appointment because of what will be done? The experienced and friendly dentists at The James Clinic can offer you dental sedation to put your worries to rest. Contact us now to find out more.