Painless Dentistry: Technological Advances in Sedation Dentistry
Scared of going to the dentist? Dental pain used to be guaranteed with nearly any dental procedure. But, things are changing quickly in the dental profession. Dentist now learn techniques to avoid causing their patients any pain. New tools are also available to help your dentist offer pain-free dental care. If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, ask your dentist if he or she provides these painless dentistry services.
For many patients, injections of anesthetic used to be the most painful part of any visit to the dentist. Dentists would tell you to open wide, and then they would jab a needle into your gums and slam down the plunger, causing you a distinct moment of intense pain.
However, new painless dentistry techniques are now being used by many dentists. First, the dentist places a numbing gel on the area where he or she will administer the injection. Next, the dentist pushes the plunger slowly enough to avoid tearing the gum tissue. Some dentists use computer-controlled injections so the numbing medication goes in smoothly and gradually to minimize or even eliminate all the pain for getting the shot.
If you’re tense or afraid when you think of having dental work, you can ask your dentist if he or she provides sedation dentistry. The sedation can relieve your anxiety about the pain. A recent Stanford study indicated that the fear of pain actually causes more pain. Because sedation relaxes you and lets you forget about your fears, you won’t experience as much pain.
Many people fear their first extraction. People who have already had one or more extractions might experience extreme anxiety if they had a bad experience the first time. However, sometimes a tooth simply needs to come out to preserve or restore your oral health. The good news is that a skilled dentist can do the work painlessly.
Laser dentistry is an option in many modern dental offices. Your dentist can use the laser for a variety of procedures, including gum disease treatments and root canal therapy. One reason the laser works so well is that it’s much cooler than the dental drill, which generates heat. Periodontal treatments can be painful if the doctor does it manually, especially if he or she is not focused on providing painless dentistry. The laser makes procedures easier for the patient to have a positive experience at the dentist’s office.
Dentists with the Right Attitude
An intimidating, judgmental or impatient dentist can increase your fear of the dentist’s chair. In addition to the pain you experience as a result of your anxiety, a dentist with the wrong attitude toward patient care is usually not interested in making the procedure pain-free for you.
On the other hand, a dentist who sincerely cares about the comfort and dental health of his or her patient will take every measure possible to see that the patient feels as little pain as possible. Often the difference between having a painful experience and a pain-free dental procedure is the dentist you choose.