There are lots of factors that keep people from visiting the dentist as often as they should. But the one we hear about most often is that patients are worried about the pain of the process. Even though dentistry has made great strides to increase comfort for patients, traditional methods can still cause some discomfort, and for some patients, that causes them to avoid the dentist entirely.
Visiting the Dentist Doesn’t Have to Be a Pain
That is why we are so excited about new strategies for painless dentistry. Patients that have avoided the dentist for years can come in for a routine cleaning, or a more advanced procedure, and not have to worry for a second about pain. If anxiety has kept you out of the doctor’s chair, now is the time to make an appointment.
What is Painless Dentistry?
Painless dentistry is sometimes also called sedation dentistry because it uses safe and mild forms of sedation to calm the patient before any procedure is performed. This approach no only helps relieve anxiety, but it numbs the effected areas so that the patient can’t feel the work of the dentist and hygienists. By the time the sedation wears off, the procedure is complete, and the patient is ready to return home. Painless dentistry can involve varying levels of sedation:
- Minimal – The patient remains awake but with a feeling of calm.
- Moderate – The patient remains awake but not fully aware.
- Deep – The patient remains awake but with minimal consciousness
- General Anesthesia – The patient is completely unconscious
Is Painless Dentistry Safe?
Absolutely. In fact, sedation dentistry has been practiced by dentists for decades, but new techniques have expanded its application. This procedure can now effectively be used for something as routine as a teeth cleaning. For patients that simply can’t bear the thought of being in the dentist’s chair, the calming and numbing effect of sedation provides a welcome antidote to anxiety. Sedation can be administered by the following means:
- Inhaled – Nitrous oxide – laughing gas – is carefully administered through a breathing mask. The patient will likely be able to drive themselves home following the procedure.
- Oral – Sedation is administered through a pill that comes in a variety of strengths. Patients are often so groggy that they fall asleep during the procedure
- IV – Sedation is administered through an IV drip and takes effect almost immediately. The doctor can continually monitor and adjust the dosage.
These forms of sedation are typically paired with a topical anesthetic that numbs the area where the doctor is working. When these two approaches are used in tandem, dentistry truly can become painless.
Learn More about Painless Dentistry
At The Happy Tooth, we have the specialized equipment, expert staff, and extensive experience to make your next trip to the dentist painless. Contact one of our offices, and let us know that you are interested in a painless procedure.