Most people know how important regular dental care is. Not only does it help to keep your mouth healthy, but good dental care can also help your entire body stay in optimum condition. In spite of this knowledge, many people avoid going to the dentist as often as they should. They have developed a fear of the dentist that leads them to put off routine cleanings and checkups in favor of visiting the dentist only when their pain is too great. Sedation dentistry may be an excellent option for those fearful of the dentist’s chair.
Sedation: A Great Tool for the Fearful
Whether you had a traumatic dental experience as a child, the media’s portrayal of dentists makes you fearful, or some other reason is behind your anxiety, odontophobia is is a condition shared by around 50 percent of Americans. Fortunately, dentists have many tools at their disposal that are designed to provide you with excellent oral care and make you feel more comfortable. One of the most important of these is sedation.
What is Dental Sedation?
Sedation allows you to remain conscious during your dental procedures while putting you in a deeply relaxed state. In fact, many people report that they drift off to sleep briefly while under sedation. There are three types of sedation delivery methods: oral, intravenous and inhalation. Oral sedation is the most popular form in use in the United States. While sedation makes you more relaxed, in most cases your dentist will still deliver pain medication at the site of the dental procedure.
When is Sedation an Option?
There are some instances when sedation is a viable method of getting dental treatments. These include the following:
While some people have fairly routine wisdom tooth removal, many others have wisdom teeth that are impacted, partially visible or situated under the gum line. Sedation helps make their removal less traumatic for you as the patient.
Bone grafting is a procedure that is often necessary to improve the way dentures fit. It is best completed while under sedation as it involves holding your mouth open for extended periods of time.
Dental implants are often a good choice for patients who have lost teeth as the result of periodontal disease or an injury. In other instances, a patient might be tired of dealing with dentures that don’t fit comfortably. If you are a candidate for dental implants, this procedure will be easiest for you under sedation.
Whether you need emergency dentistry as the result of an injury, fall or accident, you are likely to be extremely upset and in a great deal of pain. Sedation allows you to relax so that treatment and repairs to your mouth can be completed more easily.
Jaw surgery might be required to fix the alignment of your jaw bones to treat a condition like sleep apnea. It could also be needed to address temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Regardless of why you need jaw surgery, sedation is often required.
If you have a procedure that might be a good candidate for sedation, your dentist will go over the details with you.