Millions of Americans don’t visit a dentist for regular checkups because they are scared of the pain and discomfort associated with dental treatments. As a result, these people often develop serious dental problems that require more extensive treatment later. At Steven C. Hewett D.D.S in Champions Gate, FL, we offer sedation dentistry to everyone who suffers from dental anxiety or would simply like a pain-free, relaxed experience.
What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Fear of the Sedation Dentistry is extremely common. People might be afraid because they’ve had a bad experience in the past, they’ve watched documentaries or read about treatments that went wrong, or they are worried about their gag reflex kicking in during treatment. It is estimated that 9-20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because they are scared of treatment. Fortunately, there is a simple and effective way of relieving dental anxiety.
Sedation is usually administered orally, and it helps patients to relax during treatment. After the appointment, people who’ve taken the moderate sedation pill don’t recall the details of their treatment, and they don’t have any bad memories of it. Because the patient is relaxed, the gag reflex isn’t as strong. It’s much easier for dentists to work with sedated patients, so their treatment often takes less time. Sedation is safe and doesn’t involve pain or needles.
Patients Don’t Need to Be Afraid of the Dentist
The most important benefit of sedation is that it counteracts dental anxiety. Patients who are afraid of treatment often suffer from serious dental issues because they haven’t been to see their dentist regularly. They might need urgent treatment or even surgery. Sedation allows these people to take part in treatment without panicking.
At the clinic, we believe in providing you with the most pleasant atmosphere possible. Aside from offering you sedation, we also have soft blankets and massage chairs so you feel relaxed and at home while you wait for your treatment to start. If you have a dental phobia, speak to us about your concerns. We will talk you through the treatment step by step, so you understand what will happen and why it is necessary.
People Often Don’t Recall the Treatment
In most situations, amnesia is undesirable. However, patients suffering from dental anxiety are often happy to know that they might not recall the details of their treatment. Often, a fear of going to the dentist gets worse over time because patients experience discomfort, so their negative thought patterns are reinforced. Even if the treatment is only mildly uncomfortable, the phobia is strengthened after each visit.
Some moderate sedation methods prevent patients from recalling the smells, sounds, and sensations they experienced while at the dental clinic. This stops them from creating negative memories and therefore prevents their phobia from getting worse. If you have a pronounced fear of dental treatments, speak to us about the various types of sedation and how they affect your memories of the treatment.
The Gag Reflex Is Reduced
The gag reflex is essential because it keeps foreign objects out of your body. However, it can be problematic when you’re having dental treatment, especially if the dentist has to work at the back of your oral cavity. Gagging can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, depending on the kind of treatment you’re having.
When you’re sedated, the gag reflex is temporarily paralyzed. This means that you’ll be much more comfortable, and your dentist will be able to treat you more efficiently.
No Needles Are Necessary
Many patients who are afraid of visiting the dentist are also concerned about treatments that involve injections. Sedation dentistry is available as a pill, so you don’t have to have an IV or an injection. You’ll simply come to the clinic, swallow the medication, sit back, and relax. A few minutes later, you’ll no longer feel agitated, and your dentist can get started with treatment.
The Sedative Is Completely Safe and Pain-Free
Sedation isn’t the same as general anesthesia, and the risks are much lower. When administered correctly by a medical professional, oral sedation is extremely safe. To make sure you won’t experience any issues, we’ll ask you about your health history and any medication you currently take. If you have a serious medical condition or an allergy, we’ll ask to speak to your primary physician before administering sedative drugs.
The medication doesn’t cause any pain, and the vast majority of patients don’t experience side effects. If you have a slight fear of dental treatment, we’ll administer a mild sedative that simply reduces your stress levels and relaxes your body. If you have a dental phobia or extreme anxiety, we might use a slightly stronger sedative, which causes you to slur your words and not remember much of the treatment.
The Dentist Can Treat the Patient Faster
Patients who are scared of dental treatments often experience symptoms of anxiety when they visit a dentist. These might include irritability, a headache, a stomachache, restlessness, sweating, trembling, and hyperventilation. These symptoms can make it harder for the patient to be treated, and the session at the clinic is likely to take longer.
Sometimes, treatment has to be postponed because of extreme anxiety, and the patient has to book another appointment. When anxious patients are sedated, it’s much easier for the dentist to treat them, so the appointment is over much more quickly.
Is Sedation Right for Me?
It’s up to you whether you’d like to be sedated during treatment. If you’re a nervous patient, or you’ve had a bad experience with a dentist in the past, sedation can help you to feel relaxed and take away the stress associated with dental treatments. As discussed, it allows your dentist to work faster, so you don’t have to spend so much time at the clinic.
However, it’s important to remember that you can’t simply walk out of the clinic and drive yourself home after being sedated. You’ll have to bring a friend or family member with you who can drive you home and take care of you for a few hours while you recover. Your companion can wait at the clinic while you’re being treated, or they can leave and come back to pick you up.
Can Children and People with Medical Conditions Be Sedated?
Most dentists try to treat children without sedation. At Steven C. Hewett D.D.S., we do everything we can to provide children with a pleasant experience. If a young patient is very afraid of the dentist or they refuse to cooperate, sedation is sometimes the best solution, but it’s important to talk with a pediatrician first.
Most people with underlying health issues can receive sedation, but those who suffer from severe sleep apnea might not be good candidates because the medication could be dangerous for them. Obese patients might also need to consult their doctor to make sure that sedation is safe for them.
Experience Pain-Free and Relaxed Dental Treatments Now
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary and painful. By administering a sedative, we can make the experience less unpleasant for you. The sedative reduces pain, prevents you from recalling the treatment later, reduces your gag reflex, and speeds up the treatment. Call us at Steven C. Hewett D.D.S in Champions Gate, FL to find out more about sedation dentistry and to book your appointment with Dr. Hewett and the team.