Struggling through a long dental treatment can be a stressful, fatiguing experience. Even with the ample use of local anesthetic at the site of treatment, and the best efforts of the dentist, procedures can be emotionally demanding. The mouth is a sensitive area of the body, and the simple act of having someone poking and prodding around in that space can be distressing.
Furthermore, some dental procedures can take quite a bit of time. Lying on your back with your mouth gaping open for a few minutes is something that most people can endure easily, but remaining like that for a half hour or more can be boring, tedious, and even tiresome or frustrating. Being relaxed with laughing gas or put into a dozy, sleepy state with oral medications or those administered intravenously makes the time pass much faster and in a warm, positive glow.
Comfort and Practicality from Sedation
Using sedation dentistry solves all of these knotty issues of discomfort, assuming that you are comfortable with receiving a mild sedative. Remember that you are not put under full, general anesthesia, so you will retain some awareness and control during your treatment. This type of sedation may well be comfortable for those who are averse to general anesthesia to use, since the effect is far closer to the pleasant sensations of taking a light nap than to complete unconsciousness. In the case of nitrous oxide, deep relaxation replaces sleepiness.
The strength of the gag reflex various from person to person and even from occasion to occasion. People with a strong gag reflex may find it both more comfortable, and easier in a practical sense, to receive dental treatment with sedation dentistry. This is especially true for dental work done towards the back of the mouth, where the gag reflex is naturally stronger. Use of sedatives is more likely to be needed for molar work than treatment of the front teeth.
A Refreshing Dentist’s Visit
Having sedation dentistry done is often refreshing, rather leaving the patient feeling wrung out, as is often the case with dental work completed without sedatives. This is one of the most powerful upsides of sleep dentistry. Rather than being a harrowing experience that produces feelings of stress and exhaustion, dental procedures will become relaxing for many people, the equivalent of a soothing nap.
Those who experience fear, discomfort, or boredom during dental procedures should try sedation dentistry at least once, to discover whether the peaceful experience provided by this type of treatment makes them feel more comfortable with the dental work they need.