Benefits of Oral Sedation

Did you know your oral health plays a key role in your overall health and well-being? Research demonstrates a strong link between good dental health and a lower risk of many types of illness, including cardiovascular diseases and infections.   

But if you’re one of the 20% of Americans who struggles with dental anxiety, your fears of visiting the dentist may make it difficult to maintain appointments. The result? Your oral health suffers along with your overall health.

At the private practice of Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, we have a solution for dental anxiety: oral sedation. With specialized training in oral sedation and years of experience, Dr. Wilcox wants you to know you’re in good hands.

If you struggle with dental anxiety, take a moment to learn more about oral sedation and the benefits it brings. 

What causes dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety affects more than 40 million Americans. The causes are as varied as the people it affects. A recent study looked at different causes of dental fears and found that fear of pain (39%) was the most common reason people feared visiting the dentist.   

Other causes of dental anxiety reported in the study include:

About 5% of people have all of the fears listed above, and another 5% felt their fear of visiting the dentist is linked to anxiety over the cost of dental work. 

What is oral sedation?

Oral sedation uses different medications to help alleviate dental anxiety and dental phobia. Our office offers:

The right oral sedation medication for you depends on different factors, including your level of anxiety, your pain tolerance, your medical history, and the dental procedure(s) you’re undergoing. Dr. Wilcox chooses the right medication and explains the process each step of the way. 

What are the benefits of oral sedation?

We do everything possible to help alleviate your fears and keep you comfortable, including offering a welcoming environment, using distraction techniques, and oral sedation. 

Oral sedation brings many other benefits. Some are situation-specific and depend on the type of sedation administered. Here’s a look at several of the most common benefits:

Relieving your anxiety

The biggest benefit of oral sedation is that it helps patients struggling with dental anxiety get the oral care they need to have healthy teeth and gums. 

Oral sedation allows you to get through dental procedures in comfort and without pain, removing the most common reason people avoid the dentist: fear of pain.

Anterograde amnesia

While amnesia is rarely considered a benefit, some types of oral sedation make this an exception. 

Oral sedation alleviates fears and phobias related to the dentist because it makes it impossible for your brain to create new memories (anterograde amnesia) associated with dental procedures. As a result, anxiety and emotional distress associated with future visits to the dentist fade. 

Less gag reflex

Your gag reflex helps keep you from choking on foreign objects or things that go too deep in the oral cavity. But during dental procedures, your gag reflex can get in the way. Oral sedation temporarily paralyzes or minimizes your gag reflex.

Faster dental work

If you dislike being in the dentist’s chair, you’ll be pleased to know that oral sedation helps you spend less time there. While you’re sedated and relaxed, Dr. Wilcox can work faster and more efficiently, helping get you out of the chair and back to the comfort of your home quicker.  

Learn more about the benefits of oral sedation and whether it can help you overcome your dental anxieties by contacting our team at our Butte, Montana, office.

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