Sedation dentistry is most commonly thought of as something for patients that suffer from a fear of the dentist. But these patients aren’t the only ones that can benefit from dental sedation. Dr. Robert J. Gauthier Jr. of Apex Dental, a dentist in Northborough, MA, discusses sedation dentistry and its benefits.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry utilizes medicine to keep patients calm and relaxed throughout their dental procedures. At our office, we provide oral conscious sedation and local anesthetic administered through a wand. Local anesthetic blocks nerve signals to the brain and allows the impacted area to be numbed, while sedation is designed to produce an overall euphoric effect.
Traditionally, a local anesthetic is given via an injection. Needles are something that can make people cringe just at the sight. The wand uses a topical agent to numb the area before administering the local anesthetic.
A slow drip is used to ensure that the anesthetic is administered properly, ensuring the entire area is numbed properly, unlike a traditional injection that can concentrate the numbing effect in one small area.
Oral conscious sedation is given in the form of a prescribed pill that’s taken an hour or so before your appointment. You’ll need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. Oral sedation relaxes you and produces a euphoric feeling. While it isn’t designed to put you fully to sleep, you may be relaxed enough to fall asleep through the procedure or have little to no memory of the procedure.
The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
First, patients with dental anxiety and fear are one of the populations that can most benefit from sedation dentistry. Dental anxiety can occur on a spectrum. Some people may have fear of certain sounds, procedures, or dental tools, but others can have a fear so debilitating that they’re unable to even come into a dental office for regular care.
Sedation dentistry allows patients to come in regularly to keep up with their oral health. If patients with dental anxiety have avoided treatment for too long, they may need more intensive restorative dentistry procedures. Sedation also allows them to sit through longer or multiple treatments to restore their oral health.
Sedation is also beneficial for patients that are children or suffer from a movement disorder. Depending on the procedure being performed, it can put the patient at risk for injury if they move unexpectedly during it. We want to make sure our team can do the work they need and make sure the patient stays as safe and comfortable as possible.
When a patient has a bad gag reflex, it can basically fight the dentist as they’re trying to perform the procedure. It’s also extremely uncomfortable for the patient to continue gagging. Sedation can help to relax this reflex and make the procedure easier for both the patient and the dentist.
Your Northborough, Massachusetts Sedation Dentist
Do you think you can benefit from sedation dentistry? Call us or schedule an appointment online.