4 Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Young female patient receiving dental care from a friendly doctor and his assistantAnnual dental cleanings and examinations, coupled with practicing good oral hygiene at home, help patients maintain a healthy mouth. Although visiting the dentist twice a year for preventive care might seem like a reasonable frequency, some patients still worry about the visit or have certain health conditions that make going to the dentist for any reason a dreaded experience. Whether you need to make it to your bi-annual checkup or have other reasons for visiting the dentist, oral sedatives or nitrous oxide can help you relax and receive the dental care that you need.  Schedule an appointment at our Fresno, CA location by calling (559) 297-1294 to learn more about sedation dentistry.

Types of Conscious Dental Sedation

An oral sedative is a type of anti-anxiety medication, such as Halcion or Valium, that affects the patient’s ability to feel stress. Dr. Denes will prescribe a certain dose and instruct you on when to take the oral sedative depending on your case and needs. Patients who take oral sedatives need to arrange for transportation to and from the dental office.

Breathed in through a nose mask, nitrous oxide works by reducing a patient’s ability to sense pain as well as inducing relaxation that some patients describe as a “floaty” feeling. Like an oral sedative, the patient remains awake during the procedure. Nitrous oxide effects wear off very quickly after removal of the mask, so patients can return to normal activities like driving soon after the appointment.

With oral sedation and nitrous oxide, you will remain conscious and in control of your movements but might become drowsy because you will be in a very tranquil state. The benefits of oral sedation include:

  • Helping patients handle fear and anxiety,
  • Assisting patients who have special needs,
  • Preventing a hypersensitive gag reflex, and
  • Allowing the dentist to complete multiple procedures in one appointment.

1.      Overcoming Fear and Anxiety

Many people feel nervous or apprehensive before a dental appointment. For some, these feelings of anxiety keep them from visiting the dentist even if they have a painful dental issue. Others avoid the dentist because of an extreme fear of needles, dental equipment, or other factors that hinder their functions. In this case, taking an oral sedative the night prior to the appointment and one the day of might help alleviate a patient’s unease.

2.      Assisting Patients Who Have Special Needs

For patients who have medical conditions, such as chronic back pain, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease, sitting in a dental chair can be uncomfortable. Oral sedation induces calm and makes a patient more comfortable. Nitrous oxide during the procedure will assist in lessening the discomfort.

3.      Preventing a Gag Reflex That Hinders Dental Work

One’s natural gag reflex, or the instinct to keep foreign or potentially harmful substances out of the body, can affect the length and time needed for a dental procedure. Triggered by touching the back of the mouth, the reflex causes the muscles of the throat to contract, and subsequently discomfort for the patient. Either an oral sedative or nitrous oxide could help a patient in this case.

4.      Completing Multiple Procedures in One Appointment

For a smile makeover or full mouth reconstruction, patients usually require multiple treatments. With sedation, a patient can remain comfortable for hours at a time for more treatments to be completed efficiently. This means less visits to the dentist, and less occasions for dental anxiety.

Dental sedation helps subdue dental anxiety and fear, aids patients who have medical conditions, and allows the dentist to perform multiple procedures in one appointment. Contact us at Fresno Dental Studio if you have questions about sedation dentistry, call (559) 297-1294 today.

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