Sedative methods vary in strength in purpose. If the fear of sitting in a dentist’s chair is too much for you to bear, there are many ways we can help you feel more relaxed. Many patients who take sedatives have no memory of the procedure undertaken. Depending on your procedure and anxiety level, you dentist will help determine what options are available to you. If the option present is too strong or not strong enough for your comfort level, you can ask about alternatives. The final choice will be a collaboration between the doctor and yourself.
Sedative drugs include, among others, anti-anxiety medications, depressants, tranquilizers, and nitrous oxide.
There are several different types of sedation that can make your visit stress-free:
- Mild: The most common mild sedative is laughing gas or nitrous oxide. This is gas administered through inhalation. A small hood is placed over your nose and the sedative is delivered before and during the procedure. Patients remain conscious and breath on their own. Effects of this sedation wear off quickly afterwards.
- Moderate: For patients with more moderate dental anxiety, or undergoing more complex procedures, a more moderate level sedative is necessary. Some are given orally, others through an IV. You may be asked to take a pill once you arrive or shortly before arriving to our office. This might be in conjunction with an IV, where the sedative is injected directly into the bloodstream. The patient will remain conscious, breathing on their own, but feel like they are sleeping. You will be “out of it”, but often able to handle basic commands. The feeling is called “twilight.” The dentist will control the level and length of sedation.
- Deep: Deep sedation, or general anesthesia, is for patients undergoing the most complex dental procedures, including dental implants or root canals. In these cases, you would be entirely unconscious and require breathing assistance. The effects will also take the longest to wear off.
In terms of cost, ease, and safety, the preferred sedation method in the US is oral sedation. Patients remain conscious and cooperative, while still having the feeling of not remembering everything that just occurred. Best of all, no extra needles or IVs!
While anesthetic will help you cope making it through difficult procedures, it is not a cure-all for pain or discomfort. Anesthetic injections are still required in many cases. These will block pain impulses from the teeth and gums being worked on. Most of the time that injection occurs after you have already been sedated though, so you may not even feel that later.
As helpful as these drugs are, the aftereffects of sedation should not be taken lightly. It is important to have some help on the day of your appointment, regardless of which type of sedation you receive. It won’t likely be safe for you to drive yourself home, so you will need to arrange transportation. Someone should also stay with you for a few hours until the effects fully wear off.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
The benefits of sedation dentistry are plentiful. Patients’ comfort level is vastly improved and most everyone feels relaxed and calm during the procedure. Appointments that last for several hours seemingly pass by in minutes. Complex issues can be handled in fewer appointments. Most of all for those who are afflicted with severe anxiety, we can help you keep your beautiful smile. Putting off treatment because of fear shouldn’t be an option when there are remedies available.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nitrous Oxide Sedation & Sedation Dentistry Anderson, Indiana [IN]
What kind of sedation should I get?
Sedation is not a one size fits all proposition. Your dentist in consultation with you will help determine the best solution for your situation. Bring the names and does of any mediations, supplements, and vitamins you are taking, so we avoid any problematic drug interactions. Your dentist will also discuss your medical history and level of anxiety over the forthcoming procedure.
Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?
Most dental insurance does not cover sedation. However, depending on the treatment, certain billing codes may apply. Check with your insurance company before any procedure and we will work with you to keep costs as reasonable as possible.
What is a sedation pill?
Sedation pills are a relatively new development. More and more dentists are now offering this option. Usually given over two doses, one before you arrive to our office and one at your arrival, these pills induce a sense of deep relaxation.
Oral sedation is the preferred method by patients and dentists and works best for short treatments and minor procedures. Reducing paid and suppressing memories of uncomfortable dental procedures is something many patients seek out. If you would be interested, please ask our office about our current options.
How long will I feel sedated after taking the pill?
It really depends on the sedation used. Mild sedatives may wear off within an hour or two. Deeper medication will leave you slightly impaired for up to 8 hours. Before taking sedation, know and understand the side effects, and have a plan for having assistance for at least the rest of the day.
What happens after the procedure is over?
You will likely be back to your old self within 24 hours or less. The sedation will have lost its effect, though you have lingering pain or discomfort in the area we were working on. Follow your dentist’s instruction for after care and keep any follow up appointments. People react to sedatives in different ways. Call us immediately if unexpected side effects occur.