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Making Your Practice More Family Focused

Have you ever wondered why some families flock to certain practices year after year? When I first started practicing medicine, I realized that it was difficult to provide a great level of care for different age groups in the same office. If the rooms were painted like a storybook for the kids, it seemed to frustrate the adults. However, after years of trying different things, I have been able to develop a formula that works well for my business. If you have been struggling to improve your own practice, take a few minutes to browse through the articles on my website.


Making Your Practice More Family Focused

3 Reasons To Skip The Anesthesia During Your Next Dental Visit

by Monica Reynolds

When you go to the dentist, whether for a cleaning or dental surgery, you have a variety of options concerning pain management. Traditionally, dentists use local anesthetic for most dental procedures that are likely to hurt. However, there has been a recent trend in Canadian dentistry for patients to prefer general anesthesia, also known as sedation dentistry, for both major and minor procedures. In fact, 7.2% of Canadians would opt to use sedation dentistry for treatments as minor as a cleaning. While this can solve problems related to dental anxiety, there are several reasons you should consider skipping both general and local anesthetics during your next dental visit. 

Save Money 

Since Canada still lacks a universal dental care plan, individual consumers use private insurance through their work or pay out of pocket, which leaves many Canadians unable to afford quality dental care. Whether you have a 20% co-pay or have to cover your entire dental bill, reducing the equipment your dentist uses during a visit will reduce how much you ultimately pay. 

Local anesthesia can cost between 20-40 CAD per visit, which may not seem like much, but if you opt for general anesthesia, that cost jumps to 200-300 CAD, and is often not covered by insurance plans. Reducing the amount of anesthetic used by your dentist can lower your bill. However, if you do need anesthetic or sedation, getting multiple treatments done in one visit can lower your overall dental cost. 

Reduce Post-procedure Recovery Time

Depending where local anesthesia is placed in your mouth, and how much is used, you may experience numbness for several hours. For example, a nerve block, which is used when treating your lower molars, can last for 7-8 hours, and makes your entire cheek and half of your lips numb. When it does wear off, you may experience 15-20 minutes of tingling or slight pain. This can make returning to work after treatment difficult. 

If you opt for sedation dentistry, you may feel groggy for 2-4 hours after your appointment, and you should definitely have someone you trust to drive you home after your appointment. 

Using less anesthetic, or none on simple cleanings and small fillings, means that you will be able to return to your regular activities sooner. 

Come to Terms With Your Anxiety 

While anesthetic is generally used to help patients deal with anxiety, if you have low to moderate dental anxiety, you may find that getting your procedures done without anesthetic will reduce your anxiety for several reasons. First, you may find that you feel more in control of your dental visit when you can feel what is going on in your mouth. It is likely that you will have better communication with your dentist about the procedure before he or she begins and while they are working. 

Also, local anesthetic can sometimes cause your heart to race for a few seconds when it is first injected. For some patients, this can cause a spike in anxiety that will make continuing the treatment difficult. 

Several dental treatments, such as deep fillings, extractions, and root canals, require anesthesia. However, it is important that you discuss your pain management options with your dentist. You may find that you prefer shallow fillings and deep cleanings without anesthesia. Also, the final visit of a root canal can often be completed without anesthesia, since the root has already lost sensitivity during the first visit. When you do need anesthesia, ask for the least amount possible. This may mean a local anesthetic around the tooth as opposed to a nerve block, or a nerve block as opposed to general sedation.