Visiting the Dentist
Dental health concerns the condition of a person’s teeth, and whether they are in good shape or suffer from a variety of known ailments, from cavities to damaged enamel all the way to the teeth rotting or falling out of the mouth. No one enjoys mouth trouble, but the good news is that dental health has come a long way since the crude method of centuries past. Today, sedation dentistry, teeth whitening, visiting emergency dentists, and pediatric dentistry are all a phone call away to keep people’s teeth in top shape for years to come.
Who Needs Dental Work?
Nearly everyone older than an infant has a full mouth of teeth, and sometimes, things go wrong or very wrong. In the year 2015, for example, about 20% of American adults reported that they had ongoing anxiety due to the health of their teeth and mouth, and in taht same year, about 30% of American adults said that their teeth or mouth’s condition was fair to poor. What is more, in that same year, 28% of people surveyed between ages 18-34 said that their mouth’s or teeth’s appearance would affect their performance at a job interview. Personal grooming such as skin care, trimming fingernails, and of course dental health are all evaluated by interviewers to assess a person’s discipline and sense of self-worth.
Plenty of people, kids and adults alike, go to the dentist. Among children aged two to 17 in 2016, for example, 84.6% of them had visited the dentist, and in that same year, 64.4% of adults aged 18-64 reported that they had visited the dentist within the last year, as the CDC noted. But what kind of treatment can adults and kids expect when they visit the dentist’s office? Is sedation dentistry needed? Or teeth implants? Different ailments and overall health of the patient may determine what dental work must be done.
According to Mouth Healthy, different drugs at the dentist’s office may numb pain or put the patient to sleep (which is sedation dentistry), and a patient’s health history, allergies, and the procedure type should be talked over with one’s dentist beforehand. For some dental procedures on kids, sedation dentistry is essential if the child is restless or frightened before work can begin.
Local anesthesia will numb just the mouth or a specific part of it, blocking nerves that transmit pain. Injectable anesthetics may be used before filling in cavities or preparing teeth for crowns. Pain relievers, either narcotic or not, may be used after a procedure, with narcotic ones being used for more severe pain. Patients should be careful about leftover medicine, especially if they have children at home.
For sedative dentistry, meanwhile, the sedative can either be injected or inhaled or even taken in pill form. More complex procedures may call for drugs that induce sleep sedation, to relieve both pain and anxiety. And of course, any dental sedative or drug before or during a procedure carries certain health risks, and a patient should understand the nature of these sedatives and the possible risks beforehand and talk them over with his or her dentist, just to be sure. Then the right procedure can be decided upon.