When Is Sedation Dentistry Used?
Are you afraid of the dentist—so afraid, that you often delay your own dental care? If so, you’re in good company. In fact, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation estimates that as many as 30 percent of men and women in the United States avoid dental care due to fear and anxiety, resulting in significant oral health problems like advanced decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Most of that anxiety arises from worries over pain and discomfort, as well as the general uneasiness that comes from the sights and sounds associated with dental care. Many patients who avoid going to the dentist may have had terrible dental experiences as children, while others may find dental treatment difficult due to a bad gag reflex. There are many other reasons patients may avoid going to the dentist who may benefit from Oral or IV Sedation Dentistry.
Putting off oral care isn’t just bad for your teeth and gums, there are also many systemic pathology problems caused by bacteria getting into the bloodstream through chronically inflamed gum pockets. These very deep, hard to clean periodontal disease pockets are created by bacteria destroying the bone around teeth. Some studies have linked untreated oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease with widespread health problems, including a possible link with some types of heart disease, and other illnesses as well.
In the past, some dentists have offered mild sedatives like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or low-dose oral sedatives, but until recently, the use of IV or advanced sedation was restricted to select patients with complex treatment needs such as oral surgery, leaving many patients to deal with their anxiety and fear on their own. Recently, however, that approach has begun to change. Today’s dentists have access to advanced training and education in a wider array of sedation methods that have enabled them to provide patients with a “custom level” of sedation based on their individual needs. As a result, even the most phobic patient can receive the care he or she needs to enjoy better oral health and a more attractive smile.
When Should You Consider Sedation Dentistry?
Oral and IV Sedation dentistry is extremely helpful in eliminating generalized fear and anxiety, but it also has many more uses. Today’s sedation methods are used in a wide variety of dental services. Some of the reasons we have found that patients seek sedation dental care are as follows:
- Fear of needles and sensitive gag reflexes: Mild sedation with nitrous oxide or oral sedation can be very effective in patients with a fear of needles, as well as those who find the other sights, smells and sounds of a dentist’s office nerve-racking. Additionally, by inducing a state of deeper relaxation, with IV Sedation, problems of severe gagging can be eliminated to provide more comfort and ease for the patient and the dentist. Most patients having their dental treatment under IV Sedation report very little to no memory of their visit.
- Patients requiring a lot of treatments or more complex, multi-part procedures: Sedation can enable the dentist to perform longer procedures and complete much more dentistry in a single visit, which reduces the number of visits you’ll need to complete your dental care. Busy patients can schedule executive sedation appointments to complete their care in fewer visits, even on a Friday or Saturday to avoid missing work.
- Complicated extractions and wisdom teeth extractions: Oral and IV sedation are routinely used for wisdom teeth extractions, but they can also be used for other types of extractions to reduce anxiety and discomfort.
- Deep cleaning treatments for gum disease: Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss for adults in the U.S. Deep-cleaning treatments that reach below the gum can help prevent tooth loss, and sedation can make these treatments painless.
- Restorative procedures such as crowns and bridges: Crowns and bridges don’t just make your smile look better— they play a significant role in helping you maintain optimal oral health after tooth loss or tooth damage. With sedation, these and other restorations can be completed without pain or anxiety. Sedation may also save you the hassle of making and undergoing multiple appointments if your restoration needs are extensive.
- Dental implants
Implants have become a popular alternative to dentures and bridges. Sedation is routinely used during the placing of the implant posts into the jaw bone, for related bone graft procedures when needed, and for placement of the crown or artificial tooth.
- Smile makeovers
Having a more attractive smile can work wonders for your self-confidence, and it can also reduce your risk of decay and gum disease while improving your overall oral health. Sedation lets patients have multiple procedures performed at one visit to “speed up” the makeover process so they can enjoy the results faster and with less discomfort.
There are many different types of sedation available, so the sedation method and depth of sedation can be individualized to “match” the patient and the procedure to help patients remain comfortable throughout every phase of their treatment.
Types of Sedation
When it comes to choosing sedation dentistry, the patient’s preferences are an essential piece of the decision-making process. At Briglia Dental Group, we discuss care and sedation options thoroughly at the start of any treatment, taking every opportunity to help each patient understand their options. As an experienced sedation dentistry provider for many years in the Greater Philadelphia area, we’re skilled in helping patients decide which type of sedation is a good match for their needs and their comfort, so that they can feel confident in the choice they make.
For patients considering sedation dentistry that may be new to the practice, the safety of the sedative agents used and the skill of the provider may be concerns. Today, modern dentistry includes dedicated coursework focused upon the safe use of a wide array of sedation options including nitrous oxide, Oral and IV Sedation. The “Gold Standard” in sedation services is with the use of IV Sedation. The agents used in IV Sedation are designed to achieve very deep levels of relaxation and most times induce an amnesic state in the patient. At Briglia Dental Group, our staff is trained and experienced with all types of sedation, meaning that our patients experience extremely comfortable, relaxed, and safe sedation appointments. Our practice uses the most advanced sedation methods and techniques to provide every patient with the peace of mind that comes from knowing their care and well-being are of paramount importance. Additionally, the office and treatment areas for even regular, non-sedation patients are designed for patient comfort, offering a relaxing environment aimed at promoting deep relaxation while reducing stress and anxiety. Many patients choose the option of Nitrous Oxide “laughing gas”, for their cleanings and basic dental appointments, for a more enjoyable and relaxing visit.
Is sedation dentistry right for you?
Sedation dentistry can be an ideal solution for many patients, including those undergoing complex or multi-step procedures as well as those with fear and anxiety about their care. To learn more about sedation dentistry and whether it could be a good option for you, call our office at (610) 692-4440 and schedule a personal consultation today. You can read more about sedation dentistry and Dr. Briglia’s approach in this in-depth interview. Our office offers a no charge sedation consultation to meet with you to discuss your concerns. Schedule your appointment here or call us at 610-692-4440Posted on by of Briglia Dental Group
Article Categories: Sedation Dentistry