For those with severe dental phobia or anxiety, sedation dentistry may be a good option. Sedation dentistry helps patients to feel more comfortable during their dental treatment. Sedation dentistry is helpful for procedures like root canals and extractions and can make the process easier. At least 30 percent of patients don’t get the oral health attention they need due to fear. This can lead to major issues in the long run.
There are different types of sedation dentistry, and they vary in strength. Sedation dentistry can be used for patients that are scared of going to the dentist and need to relax. Those that take sedatives will sometimes have no memory of the procedure afterward. It’s important for a patient to speak with their dentist about their level of anxiety so the dentist can determine if sedatives are a good option, and what sedative choices may be available. The patient may ask for a certain level of strength as well. Between the patient and the dentist, the right level of sedation will be determined.
Some of the different types of sedative drugs include depressants, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety medication, and nitrous oxide.
In order for a patient to experience a stress-free visit, there are different types of sedation that may be available:
- Mild. This form of sedation is common, and it generally involves the use of nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This is administered through inhalation. There is a small hood that is placed over the nose of the patient, and the gas is delivered both before and during the procedure. During this form of sedation dentistry, the patient remains conscious. Soon after the procedure, the effects wear off.
- Moderate. For those undergoing complex procedures or with more severe dental anxiety, a more moderate level of dental sedation may be required. This sedation is administered either through an IV or orally. A pill may be offered shortly after you arrive or upon your arrival. While under these forms of sedation, a patient will breathe on their own and stay conscious—even though they will feel like they are sleeping. While a patient won’t be completely there mentally, they will still be able to understand basic commands. During this form of sedation, the dentist will control the length and level of sedation.
- Deep. For more complex dental procedures, deep sedation (general anesthesia) will likely be used. These procedures include root canals, dental implants, and similar procedures. A patient will be entirely unconscious during these forms of sedation, and the effects take a while to wear off.
Oral sedation is a preferred method in the USA due to ease, safety, and cost. Patients are able to remain cooperative and conscious, while also not remembering the procedure. It also allows patients to avoid needles.
Anesthetic injections may be required, though, and they will block pain impulses from gums and teeth that are being worked on. Often these shots are given after sedation, which lowers the chances of a patient feeling the shots. While sedation is helpful, it isn’t a cure-all for discomfort and pain.
After dental sedation, a patient will likely need help getting home. Sedatives make it unsafe for patients to drive—regardless of what type of sedative was used. This should not be taken lightly! Transportation needs to be arranged, and someone should stay with the patient for a few hours afterward until the effects have worn off.
The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
There are lots of great benefits to sedation dentistry. The comfort level of a patient is improved, and it’s easier for a patient to stay calm and relaxed throughout their procedure. It also makes it easier for more complex procedures to be handled in fewer appointments. For patients with anxiety and fear that are putting off getting dental treatment, sedation dentistry may be the perfect solution.
Don’t put off your dental procedures due to anxiety. Speak with your dentist about sedation dentistry.
Frequently Asked Questions about Nitrous Oxide Sedation & Sedation Dentistry Indianapolis, Indiana [IN]
What kind of sedation dentistry is right for me?
Since there are different types of sedation dentistry, you’ll need to speak with your dentist about which kind is right for you. There is no “one size fits all” form of sedation dentistry. Make sure you mention the supplements, vitamins, and medications you are taking before undergoing sedation to make sure there are no bad interactions. From there, you can speak with your dentist about your level of anxiety, medical history, and what sedation choice is right for you.
Is sedation dentistry covered by my insurance?
While most insurance providers don’t cover sedation dentistry, certain billing codes may apply. Speak with your insurance company before your dental procedure and speak with our office. We will help to figure out the costs with you and see if we can find ways to make the price more reasonable.
What is a sedation pill?
Sedation pills are a newer option, and more dentists are beginning to offer this option. Sedation pills are generally given in two doses—one before arrival and one upon arrival. This will help you to relax.
Many patients and dentists prefer oral sedation for minor procedures and shorter treatments. It’s great for suppressing memories of a procedure and reducing pain. If you are considering oral sedation, speak with your dentist to see if it’s the right option.
How long will I feel sedated once I take the pill?
The time it takes for sedation to kick in depends on the kind of sedative that is used. While more mild sedatives only take an hour or two to wear off, deeper sedatives can take around 8 hours. Make sure you speak with your dentist about side effects before your procedure.
What happens after the procedure?
Once the procedure occurs, you’ll feel better in about a day or less. You may have some lingering pain and discomfort after the effects of the sedative wear off. Make sure you follow the instructions of your dentist for aftercare.
If any unexpected side effects occur, contact us immediately.