For many patients, simply getting to the dentist for a check-up presents a major problem. The idea of drills, the smell of the clinic, or even a broader fear of dentistry can all cause anxiety and prevent people from making regular appointments.
Dental phobias can be truly debilitating but the complications of poor dental care also pose serious problems. Fortunately, sleep or sedation dentistry presents a possible solution for anxious patients.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry is the use of anaesthesia to help a patient relax while they undergo dental treatment. The anaesthetic can be mild, moderate or even a general anaesthetic depending on the treatment.
Methods for sedating patients include:
- Nitrous oxide gas, also known as laughing gas or happy gas
- Oral sedation, where the patient is given a pill to swallow
- IV Sedation, where the anaesthesia is given through an intravenous drip
Regardless of the level of anaesthesia, sedation dentistry provides a very safe form of treatment. Depending on individual circumstances, it can even be used on children or older patients. For a dentist to perform this treatment, they must hold the appropriate certification.
Why Some Patients Get Anxious
Patients become anxious about visiting the dentist fear for several reasons and the mere thought of it can sometimes be too much to bear.
In fact, about 30% of the population delays going to the dentist because of anxiety and fear.
The reasons for your anxiety may include:
- Having a bad experience as a child and (on some level) thinking it will happen again
- Having inherited the fear from a parent’s attitudes or from witnessing their bad experience
- A fear of needles
- A sensory sensitivity that makes loud noises or smells too much to handle.
- Media – movies and television shows have ingrained this idea that having a dental check-up is a torturous experience
The Benefits of Sedation
Sedation dentistry can be truly life-changing for patients who want professional dental treatments without anxiety or fear. However, it is not just those with anxiety who can benefit from sedation dentistry.
It can also be useful for patients who:
- Have low pain tolerance
- Have a weak gag reflex
- Have sensitive teeth
- Require extensive dental procedures
Another benefit of sleep dentistry is that your dentist can perform other routine checks during the process. As you are sedated, your dentist will be able to thoroughly inspect the mouth.
At Dental Care Glebe, we want our patients to have a positive visit to our clinic. With sedation dentistry, patients can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing treatment. If you would like to learn more about this service, contact us today on (02) 9566 2030.