Sedation Dentistry An OverviewHas anxiety prevented you from receiving the preventive dental care necessary to maintain oral health? Dr. Stevens and the staff of Beautiful Smiles in Greenwood, Indiana welcome patients who experience anxiety when it comes to any aspect of their dental care. Our dentist in Greenwood, Indiana offers a variety of “relaxation” options. We will work with patients to find what will make them feel calm, confident, and relaxed during their dental treatment. Do not let fear of the dentist prevent you from receiving the necessary dental care. At our Greenwood family dentistry, we offer sedation dentistry for the optimal comfort of our patients. Sedation dentistry allows patients with dental anxiety to feel completely relaxed while undergoing dental work. Dental anxiety is a common factor in patients who have poor oral health. Patients with a severe fear of the dentist may avoid their routine dental health exams, allowing minor dental concerns to progress into more complex issues. If necessary, Dr. Stevens is able to complete multiple treatments in one sitting, saving patients return visits to our office.
Who Benefits From Sedation Dentistry?Sedation dentistry is often used to help patients that suffer from dental anxiety. If dental fear is too severe, it is hard for patients to get the oral healthcare they need. Sedation keeps them relaxed and calm throughout the procedure so that they can take care of their mouths properly. Patients can stop avoiding the dentist and eliminate having more intensive dental problems because they aren’t in the office regularly. But anxious patients aren’t the only group that can benefit from this service. People with movement disorders can have trouble getting safe dental care. Dental tools can be sharp and involuntary movements put you at risk for accidental cuts or scrapes. Sedation can help calm these movements so that you can get care safely. This is also true for patients with severe gag reflexes. Gagging causes extreme discomfort for the patient and can make them avoid care at all. The gag reflex also fights the dentist as he’s trying to provide care, making the job more difficult as well. If the gag reflex is relaxed, it leads to quicker and more comfortable care for everyone involved. Lastly, we recommend sedation for more intensive procedures or getting multiple procedures done in one day. The dentist can complete treatment quicker and more efficiently if the patient is fully relaxed. It also helps patients avoid shifting and moving around during a longer stint in the dental chair.
Sedation Dentistry What to Expect
A comprehensive exam and consultation with Dr. Stevens will allow him to determine which sedation option will be best for you. Choosing a sedation method is based on your overall health, personal preference, and what treatments you require. Dr. Stevens will explain the benefits of each method so that you may make an informed decision.
Sedation Dentistry Options
- Topical & Local Anesthesia: A topical solution is used to ‘pre-numbs’ the injection area, and local anesthesia is used to completely numb the area being treated. This temporarily blocks feeling in the nerve and should last one to two hours or longer.
- Nitrous Oxide Gas: Nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas) is often the first and best option for dental-phobic patients. Patients are in control of their bodily functions and can respond to the staff but are completely relaxed and most likely will not remember their treatment.
- Oral Conscious Sedation: Oral conscious sedation is a type of anesthesia that is administered orally. It can treat a dental anxiety disorder or make someone more comfortable during a dental procedure. This type of anesthesia typically takes effect in 20 minutes and lasts four hours. Most patients will have no memory of their dental procedure.
With most forms of sedation dentistry options, patients will require a ride to and from the dentist office. While nitrous oxide wears off quickly, it is still most commonly safer to avoid driving immediately after treatment. Oral conscious sedation may take several hours to wear off fully, and an escort will be mandatory.