One of the most common fears shared by both children and adults has to do with going to the dentist. This fear prevents about 9-15% of Americans from getting their essential dental care, which adds up to millions of people. Of course, some of our patients feel this anxiety too, so for them we use an approach called sedation dentistry. You may be familiar with sedation when it comes to certain medical procedures, but how does it relate to dentistry? Today, the team at Williamsburg Dental is going to answer 6 of the most common questions about sedation dentistry in Lincoln.
1. What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a collection of techniques used to anesthetize a patient so that they feel no physical or mental discomfort during a procedure. Its goal is to take the fear out of dentistry, assuring a nervous patient that they will not be hurt. It is also intended to help calm their mind and make anxious thoughts much more manageable. It has the added benefit of enabling your doctor to perform multiple treatments in one visit, saving you time.
2. Who does sedation dentistry work for?
While it is mostly used for patients who have reservations about going to the dentist, it can also be used to help many other types of patients. Sedation can help people who have a sensitive gag reflex get through their treatment, or those who have chronic jaw pain that makes keeping their mouth open for a long time impossible. All in all, it is able to put just about any type of patient into a relaxed state so that their visit goes both smoother and faster.
3. Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?
That depends, of course. We have two main ways we sedate patients (we’ll touch on those in a moment), and we’ll discuss those with you during your initial consultation. During that meeting, we’ll talk about any medications you are taking or medical conditions you have that might impact how you are sedated. Each approach can be tweaked slightly to suit just about anyone, but we always tend to keep things on the safe side.
4. How do you sedate patients?
You’re probably familiar with one method: nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas.” It is administered through a small mask worn on the nose and brings about a warm, calming sensation. We use it typically for patients who have some nerves about going to the dentist, but who aren’t completely overwhelmed by them.
The other method is oral sedation. For this, your sedation dentist in Lincoln will prescribe you a pill that you will take on the day of your procedure. You will take it at home so that you will be completely sedated by the time you reach our office (which is why we require that someone else drive you that day). This is a deeper form of sedation and is typically used for very nervous patients, or those who need more invasive procedures.
5. Which procedures do you use sedation for?
Sedation can be used for any procedure, whether it is a simple check-up and cleaning, or something more involved like placing a crown or bridge.
6. What will I feel?
Everyone’s interaction with sedation is a bit different, but the overall effect is that you will be both physically and mentally calmer. You’ll be numbed to most of the sensations during your treatment, but you’ll still be conscious. Many patients end up falling asleep in the chair or have little to no memory of the appointment afterward, but this isn’t guaranteed. What we can say, for sure, is that if we choose to sedate you, it will make your time with us much easier.
Still Have Questions?
Hopefully this gave you some of the answers you were looking for. We’re sure you have more questions, and we’re happy to answer them, so feel free to call us anytime. We work hard to make getting dental care easier for our most sensitive patients, and we’ll always be willing to work with you to make your time with us a positive experience.