Sedation Dentistry: What are the benefits?

Sedation Dentistry: What are the benefits?

The sound of a drill or the sight of a needle can be enough to bring about cold sweats in anyone who has a fear of the dentist. This fear can prevent the person from seeking any requisite dental treatments they might require; thus exacerbating any dental problems further, and potentially making treatment more difficult. However, many dentists can offer nervous patients sedation dentistry which aims to make the patient more relaxed and amenable to necessary treatments.

Sedation dentistry not only helps to relax the patient, it can also make the dentist’s job much easier, and can allow the dentist to do more in a single session that might otherwise be the norm. For patient and dentist alike, sedation dentistry offers a number of benefits.

Sedation doesn’t mean rendering the patient unconscious; the techniques used in sedation dentistry can range from relaxants and nitrous-oxide (laughing gas) to full anesthesia depending on the patient and the treatment required. Where possible, dentists will attempt to use a sedation technique that gives the patient some level of consciousness during the treatment in order to aid with communication and co-operation.

Aside from calming the patient’s nerves and fears, and making the dentist’s job easier, it can also help to ease discomfort. And for restless patients who might fidget during treatments, sedation techniques can help to alleviate and control unnecessary movement.

Patients who have pre-existing dental issues, such as TMJ, might normally find themselves with aching jaws and fatigue from holding their mouths open for a prolonged spell of time. Sedation techniques can help relax the muscles associated and so help to reduce muscle fatigue and aching.

Sedation can also help with the memory of treatments; uncomfortable treatments are more likely to stick in the patient’s mind, and can contribute towards a future reluctance of dental visits. Sedation, however, hinders the brain’s capacity to remember the treatment at all.

For patients who have a reluctance to visit their dentist for treatment, the benefits of sedation dentistry can help alleviate fears over treatments and help the patient back onto the road towards good dental health.

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