Feeling anxious about your next dental appointment? You’re not alone—dental anxiety is extremely common, and estimates suggest that roughly one-third of the population experiences it. Whether you’re worried about pain, have a strong gag reflex, or just have trouble sitting still, sedation dentistry could be the solution. Many dentists offer sedatives to help patients manage discomfort and anxiety for a variety of treatments, ranging from major oral surgery to routine cleanings. At Mill Dam Dental Care, we offer a wide range of sedation options for our Virginia Beach clients. Here are the benefits of dental sedation that you should keep in mind when planning your future dental care.
1. Sedation Helps Patients Manage Dental Anxiety
One of the biggest benefits of sedation dentistry is that it helps patients manage dental anxiety before and during their appointment. This results in a much smoother appointment for both the patient and the dental staff.
When patients know they will be receiving a sedative for their dental care, it helps them feel more relaxed in the days leading up to the appointment. This makes dental appointments less disruptive to the day-to-day life of those who struggle with anxiety.
Additionally, sedatives help you physically relax and manage anxiety while the appointment is happening. Regardless of what type of sedation you opt for, you’ll start to feel relaxed in just a few minutes, helping any feelings of panic melt away.
2. Sedation Makes Care More Accessible
Many people who struggle with dental anxiety avoid scheduling dental appointments, even when they’re necessary. However, putting off cleanings and important dental care often results in serious long-term health consequences down the road.
When patients with dental anxiety have access to sedation, even for regular cleanings, they’ll be more likely to come in for an appointment. Receiving preventative care now will help patients avoid gum disease, tooth loss, and other serious health consequences later on.
Additionally, sedation makes dental care more accessible for patients with special needs. Many patients with chronic physical or mental health issues struggle to sit still for a dentist appointment. Sedation dentistry makes dental care much more accessible for these patients.
3. Your Dentist Will Be Able to Work More Efficiently
In addition to making you feel more comfortable, your dentist will also be able to work more quickly when you’re sedated. When you’re tense or uncomfortable, you’re more likely to move or talk during treatment, which will require the dentist to stop and make necessary adjustments. However, when you’re sedated and relaxed, it’s much easier for the dentist to get things done.
In fact, many dentists use sedation as an opportunity to complete multiple treatments in the same appointment. This allows you to get the care you need without repeat trips back and forth to the dentist.
4. Gag Reflexes Will Not Be a Problem
Oral care is particularly difficult for patients who have a strong gag reflex. For many people, this gag reflex is completely involuntary, but it can significantly slow down even a routine dental cleaning.
Even mild sedation can minimize the effect of your gag reflex. This makes dental care more comfortable for you and ensures that your dentist can get the job done efficiently.
5. Intensive Procedures Feel More Comfortable
Dentists and hygienists do everything possible to minimize pain and discomfort during dental treatments. However, some intensive procedures can be painful, especially if your gums and teeth are sensitive.
For these more intensive procedures, dentists will use sedatives and painkillers to keep you comfortable and minimize pain, even if you don’t struggle with dental anxiety. Your dentist will also discuss exactly what’s going to happen with you, so you’re prepared and know exactly what to expect.
6. Sedation Can Be Customized to Suit Your Needs
There are several different types of sedation available for dental procedures. Prior to your appointment, your dentist will have a consultation with you to determine what type of sedative makes the most sense for you. They’ll also discuss what to expect during the procedure and how to prepare.
At Mill Dam Dental Care, we offer three different types of sedation for our patients. For patients with mild levels of dental anxiety, we offer inhaled sedation. This uses nitrous oxide gas to help patients relax. However, you’ll still remain awake and you’ll be able to drive yourself home if necessary. This is a particularly great option for managing anxiety during routine cleanings.
For patients with intense dental anxiety or more invasive procedures, we offer two more powerful sedation options. The first is oral conscious sedation, which is administered in the form of a pill or tablet. This type of sedation will make you very drowsy in addition to relaxing you. You won’t be fully asleep, so you’ll be able to respond to the dentist if necessary, but you also won’t remember much of the procedure.
For the most intensive procedures, IV sedation is available. As the name implies, this sedative is administered intravenously, and it will put the patient to sleep for the procedure. This means that you won’t remember any of the procedure or be aware of what is happening. IV sedation does take longer to come in and out of than the two other forms of sedation, which means that you’ll need someone to drive you home and keep an eye on you for a few hours after the appointment.
Schedule Your Dental Sedation Appointment With Mill Dam Dental
Don’t let dental anxiety stop you from getting the care you need. Choose a dentist who offers sedation to make your next appointment more comfortable and less daunting. Mill Dam Dental Care is the leading provider of sedation dentistry in Virginia Beach. Dr. Leidy has undergone extensive training in dental sedation practices. We have sedation options available for all types of dental procedures, including routine cleanings. Get in touch today to learn more about the benefits of dental sedation or to schedule an appointment.