Last year, we compiled what we thought was a pretty comprehensive list of the benefits of sedation dentistry. However, we didn’t know then that science was discovering even more benefits of sedation dentistry. Shortly after our blog appeared, a new study came out revealing a huge new benefit to sedation dentistry: better healing. Anxious patients who got sedation dentistry showed better healing than patients who didn’t get sedation. Researchers speculate this is because stress interferes with the body’s natural healing ability.
Want to experience the benefits of sedation dentistry for yourself? Please contact Butler sedation dentist Dr. Bob Fornalczyk at Advanced Dentistry of Butler today for a consultation.
Better Healing with Sedation Dentistry
For this study, researchers looked at the impact of sedation dentistry on patients who got a free gingival graft. This surgical procedure treats serious gum disease by taking gum tissue from a healthy donor site in the mouth and transplanting it to an area where gum recession is exposing teeth and putting them at risk. Receding gums can make teeth sensitive to heat and cold. It can contribute to loose teeth and may even lead to tooth loss, either because teeth come out or they get root cavities, which can be hard to treat.
The study compared the healing rates of 39 patients with 51 gum graft procedures. Of these patients, 26 got sedation dentistry with diazepam (Valium), while the others got no sedation. The sedated group received 5 mg of diazepam for 8 days, from the day before their procedure to seven days after. Researchers compared the healing patients achieved on day 14 following their gum graft and found that 48% of sedated patients achieved a key healing goal by this time, compared to just 35% of patients who didn’t get sedation.
How Sedation Might Improve Healing
How do researchers explain this benefit of sedation dentistry? They considered the role of an anti-stress hormone: melatonin. Most people associate melatonin with sleep. While it’s true that melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and it can help you fall asleep peacefully at night, the hormone performs multiple functions in the body.
One of the roles of melatonin is to control anxiety. In fact, some people who want to find a natural alternative to sedation dentistry in Butler try taking melatonin before dental appointments. This might work for some, although it’s less reliable than sedation.
However, melatonin has other important effects on the body regarding healing. Melatonin stimulates the production of collagen. If you pay attention to your skincare products, you probably know that collagen is one of the key elements of youthful, healthy skin. It’s also a major component in gum tissue. Melatonin’s other effect is to suppress inflammation. Inflammation is critical to healing, but if it persists too long, it can slow healing progress.
On the other hand, stress hormones interfere with healing. Stress hormones promote systemic inflammation, making it harder for your body to advance in the healing process. Other studies show that people with anxiety and depression–conditions with excess stress hormones–are four times more likely to experience delayed healing.
Sedation dentistry, by promoting melatonin production and suppressing stress hormones, can help you experience better healing after your dental procedure.
Other Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
If you are considering sedation dentistry in Butler, it’s important to remember the other benefits of the treatment that we’ve talked about before. These include:
- Controlling all dental anxiety
- Getting needed dental care
- Feeling in control of your oral health
- Choosing the level of sedation right for you
- Controlling your gag reflex
- Getting numb more easily
- Sitting still for dental visits
- Getting more work done in fewer visits
- Avoiding soreness after dental visits
- Building positive associations with the dental office
It doesn’t matter what the source of your dental anxiety is. Sedation dentistry can help you overcome it to get the dental care you need. This can empower people who have felt fear control them, and keep them from taking care of their oral health.
Butler sedation dentist Dr. Fornalczyk offers multiple sedation options so you can get the one that’s right for you, from very mild to almost complete unconsciousness.
Sedation doesn’t just help with anxiety; it can help people who have a strong gag reflex, can’t get numb, or can’t sit still for their dental visits. Because you can sit still for longer, it helps you get more dental work done in fewer visits. Plus, because you’re not tense for your visits, you won’t be sore after a dental visit as you might have been in the past.
Perhaps most importantly, you’ll start to feel better about being at the dentist. For many people, sedation dentistry is only necessary for a short period of time. You might come to feel better about the dentist, letting you make your regular dental visits without the need for sedation.
Get Sedation Dentistry in Butler
Sedation dentistry is a great way to overcome dental anxiety and get the dental care you need, but that’s just the start. DOCS-certified sedation dentist Dr. Bob Fornalczyk can help you safely enjoy the numerous benefits of sedation dentistry.
If you want to experience these benefits for yourself, please call (724) 282-4436 or use our online form to request an appointment at Advanced Dentistry of Butler, located near the Butler Community College and Oak Hills.