Sedation Dentistry: Helping With Much More Than Just Pain

No pain, no gain. That might have worked back in the 80s, but these days, we know better. If you’re exercising and you have pain, you should probably stop and rest. That’s the best way to get rid of pain in that situation.

In dentistry, things are a bit different. As with many medical procedures, a dental treatment could cause pain. Some people think the best way to get rid of that pain is through sedation. Take something that makes you fall asleep, and wake up with everything done. No pain, plenty of gain! While that is certainly true, there are several other important reasons why sedation dentistry is important and useful. Here’s how dental sedation at either of our Rochester, MN locations can help with much more than just pain.

  • It takes away anxiety: Some people think sedation dentistry is all about getting you past the pain. Actually, that is what local anesthesia is for. Sure, sedation can help you get past some of the pain. It can even help make it less painful by helping your muscles to relax. But the main point behind dental sedation is to get rid of anxiety and worry. When you’ve had bad experiences with other dentists, or just heard horror stories, you could fear dentistry. You’ll be more likely to skip appointments and miss the care you need. This only makes problems more painful and expensive. Sedation can melt away those fears. You will quickly go from dreading things to being perfectly fine with them. That means you can get that dental care and your smile can look great again.
  • You look forward to appointments: Few people look forward to a dental appointment like they do a party. Instead, it’s normally just something that needs to be done. It’s no better and no worse than going to work. People who suffer from dental anxiety, however, see it much differently. Such visits are horrible things that loom over your head like a pile of unpaid bills. That’s why people with dental anxiety skip appointments (or don’t make them in the first place). The idea of going is too much to bear. The only way to get past that is to have a series of great experiences in a row. You will retrain your mind to see dental visits as something positive. That’s done by using sedation. It will get rid of your anxiety and fears so your experience will be a good one. Do this enough times, and that dread you feel will keep getting smaller and smaller.
  • Your gag reflex won’t be a problem: Obviously, Dr. Post will need to put small dental tools in your mouth. She needs to work on your teeth and gums, after all. For most people, this is not a problem. She can work on your teeth, and you can stay more-or-less still. But there are some people with sensitive gag reflexes. Just using a gum disease tool for root planing and scaling could trigger the reflex. You suddenly move, and that could interfere with dental treatments. Imagine trying to carefully place a dental crown when the mouth keeps moving unexpectedly. Sedation can help relax your gag reflex so you can lie still and calm.
  • It can save you time: You’re already busy these days. The kids need to go to hockey practice. The bake sale is tomorrow, and you still need to make those brownies. Laundry, oil changes, waiting for the cable guy … it never seems to end. Then add not one but many dental visits to your schedule. That’s what can happen with some dental treatments. If you can only stay still in the chair for so long, then it might take 3-4 appointments for veneers, dental crowns, and more. If you don’t have the time for that many visits, you should consider sedation dentistry. When you feel that relaxed and comfortable, you should be able to lie back in our chairs for as long as necessary. This can mean 3-4 visits can be shrunk down to two or even one.
  • It can even save you money: Being comfortable enough to get multiple treatments done is more than just a time-saver. A lot of work goes in behind the scenes for each visit. Tools need to be sanitized, materials prepared, paperwork readied, and space kept open in the schedule. All of that costs you money. If you have to come in 3-4 times, then you have to worry about 3-4 costs. Shrinking everything down into two or even one visit means less costs to bill, saving you money.

At both of our Rochester, MN locations, we offer several forms of sedation dentistry. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is the most common. It quickly induces a deep relaxed feeling. You can also use oral medication, IV sedation, and pre-op sedatives for oral surgery. To learn more about how sedation dentistry can help you, or to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Post, call us today at 507-216-6252.