If you have a strong gag reflex, it can make receiving oral healthcare uncomfortable. This is especially true when we use dental instruments like scalers and handheld suction devices. Since any kind of oral obstruction might trigger the gag reflex, patients with a strong gag reflex might want to talk to our dentist about sedation dentistry. Sedation helps relax the body, which includes muscles and other soft tissues. By relaxing the muscles that contribute to the action of gagging, our guests can have much more enjoyable treatment.
Sedation dentistry involves administering and/or prescribing medications and compounds that increase relaxation. Many people can benefit from sedation. Common reasons why sedation is administered include:
Yes, there are different types of sedatives. There are a few families of medications that can produce sedating effects. For example, some sedatives are quite strong and only reserved for more invasive treatments in medical settings while milder sedatives like prescriptions from the benzodiazepine class of drugs are typically used in dental settings.
We also give our patients a sedation dentistry option that does not involve taking medication. Nitrous oxide gas is commonly used to produce a mild calming feeling. This gas also has pain-relieving properties. Nitrous oxide has been used for over one hundred years. To receive this method of sedation, patients will simply wear a soft nasal mask while our dentist administers the appropriate amount of nitrous oxide.
There are different reasons why dental professionals might recommend sedation. Most of the time, sedation is used to increase comfort. The more invasive the procedure is, the more necessary medication like pain relievers and sedatives can become. For instance, complex oral surgeries might require IV sedation while placing a filling only involves local anesthetics.
If a person has severe dental anxiety, he or she may be recommended for sedation as well.
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