Sedation Dentistry: Relaxing In The Chair

01 / 12 / 2020

Sedation Dentistry: Relaxing In The Chair

Many patients who visit the dentist’s office experience some form of trepidation or anxiety – this is normal. Dental procedures are very close and personal and this makes some patients uncomfortable. Thankfully, modern innovations in the field of dentistry make it easier for patients to relax when in the dentist’s chair. Sedation dentistry is a field that uses a variety of techniques to calm patients before their procedures start.

There are several types of sedation available to patients. Intravenous sedation is possible (sleep dentistry), sedation via happy gas is possible (conscious sedation) and so is oral sedation (Penthrox). The level of sedation will depend on the severity of the medical condition, but no sedation techniques produce detrimental side effects.

Reasons For Sedation Dentistry

Some of the reasons why you may want to choose Sedation Dentistry include sensitive teeth, bad gag reflex, complex dental problems, difficulty getting numb, don’t like the taste, smell or noise of dentistry, limited time or just simply scared of the dentist. Pain free dentistry is especially important to people with a low pain threshold.

  1. Dental phobia and anxiety
  2. Sensitive Teeth
  3. Bad Gag Reflex
  4. Ineffective local anaesthetic for whatever reason
  5. Complex dental procedures
  6. Dislike the smell, noise or taste of dentistry
  7. Limited time

These can all be counterbalanced using sedation dentistry, IV sedation or pain medication. While we do not offer IV sedation at Big Smiles Dental, we have put together the following list of ways to handle anxiety before visiting the dentist.

  • Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth: Doing so releases endorphins and adrenaline which are both used in ‘fight or flight’ situations.
  • Listen to soothing music with a low BPM: This can put you into a state of relaxation before you see the dentist. 
  • Practice mindful mediation by sitting on the floor, closing your eyes and listening to your breathing. After some time doing this your body will escape into a state of calmness and self-awareness that should combat some of the nerves you face before seeing the dentist.
  • Writing can be a great way to get your thoughts out of your head and into a different channel. This technique can be particularly useful if you struggle with anxiety regularly.
  • Physically relax your body: Drop your shoulders, relax your neck and focus on releasing the tension from every muscle in your body.

If you have tried all of these to little effect, then Penthrox is one option you have to sedate yourself. We have a Penthrox supply available at Big Smiles Dentist and have achieved great results in reducing patient anxiety using the drug. Penthrox is inhaled and works as a pain relief agent. It’s not meant to completely eliminate pain or anxiety, but will reduce the severity of each.

One other way to get comfortable in the dentist’s chair is to strike up a conversation with your dentist! Ask them questions about their life and interests because, after all, dentists are people too and appreciate that sort of thing! 

Your dental experience certainly won’t improve if you are rude or mean to your dental practitioner. However, if you have a positive relationship with the person behind the mask, then undergoing dental treatment becomes much easier. Dental nurses are there to hold your hand too, so if you’re suffering anxiety before your visit, just ask us what we can do to help.

Big Smiles Dental operates from Monday to Friday, 8:00-5:30pm, however closes on Tuesday and Thursday at 3:00pm. If you are suffering from dental anxiety, contact us today and discuss your options with us. We look forward to receiving your call and doing everything we can to ensure premium dental care.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks and proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. At Big Smiles Dental we are ready to provide a second opinion for you if and when necessary.