“Sedation dentistry” is a broad term that describes using a medication to help a patient relax for dental care. This simple addition to the treatment protocol can help a fearful patient get necessary dental work caught up and make the experience more pleasant for anyone. For Dr. Stanley Levenson in Worcester, MA, it is value-added service he believes his patients deserve.
It is important to understand the difference between anesthetic and sedation. Anesthesia is a pain block. It reduces your body’s sensitivity to pain by preventing transmission of nerve pulses. Sedation calms the activity of anxiety centers in the brain. Thus, sedation dentistry is not a substitute for anesthesia, nor vice versa.
Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” but this term is largely inaccurate. General anesthesia affects the whole body by causing the patient to lose consciousness. With sedation, however, the patient remains conscious, able to breathe naturally, respond to verbal communication, and move around if necessary. Some people become so relaxed that they doze off, but this is sleep - not chemically-induced unconsciousness.
Dr. Levenson offer two contemporary options in sedation, for solutions that fit the needs of most patients.
NuCalm is a well-liked choice because it utilizes your body’s own soothing capabilities for a relaxed experience in the chair. NuCalm creates a deep sense of peace and wellbeing through the use of a natural amino-acid supplement that counteracts adrenalin. A comfortable eye mask blocks light and visual stimuli. Painless microcurrent stimulation balances the brain’s neurochemistry while interrupting stress signals. Soothing soundtracks with neuroacoustic beats guide brain waves to a relaxed state. Nu-Calm is a medication-free option that leaves you feeling alert and refreshed after dental treatment.
Oral conscious sedation is a medication in the valium family of drugs, taken in pill form before a dental appointment. You are awake, but unconcerned about the sounds, sites, and sensations of dental treatment. You will be a little groggy from the medication, though, so it is a necessity to have someone drive you to and from the appointment. The effect is gone by the next morning.
Each year thousands of people suffer needlessly from untreated tooth decay, gum disease, trauma, and other dental problems because they have dental anxiety. This very real apprehension may even keep them from scheduling a professional cleanings and checkups. While this is the most common need, there are many other situations where sedation dentistry also makes great sense:
The patient who needs extensive treatment or numerous procedures can have work completed in one day. That saves travel, missed work time, and multiple numbings.
If you unconsciously “fight” the dentist by tensing up, treatment can be completed more efficiently with sedation.
Some people cannot sit comfortably without sedation for the duration of a dental appointment, due to physical, mental, or emotional conditions.
Sedation calms an over-active gag reflex that makes dental treatment difficult.
A patient with a very small mouth or extra-sensitive teeth will have a more comfortable experience with sedation.
A person who has been resistant to numbing in the past will feel assured by the addition of sedation.
Dr. Levenson is well-trained in sedation, and he uses medications that are very safe. In addition, the doctor thoroughly evaluates your health and medical history before prescribing this treatment. When sedation is appropriate, it can be beneficial in ways you might not anticipate.
The body follows the mind. That is, when the mind is anxious, the body tenses up. When the mind unwinds, stress in the body also dissipates. If you normally leave the dentist with a stiff jaw, neck, back, or shoulders, you will be pleasantly surprised at how good you feel physically, after sedation dentistry. Since your mouth is relaxed, there is less trauma from treatment to hard and soft tissues, so you heal faster.
Because there are no unpleasant associations with dental visits, you may gradually overcome phobia and begin looking forward to appointments. In the long term, this equates to a healthier mouth that contributes to overall wellness.
Are you ready to get back in the chair and start enjoying a comfortable, attractive smile? Dr. Levenson can help, with gentle sedation dentistry. Call Levenson Smile in Worcester, MA at 855-849-8255 to schedule a low-stress visit.