What is Sedation Dentistry

What is Sedation Dentistry


Does just the thought of going to the dentist
get your heart racing and make your palms sweaty? If so, you�re not alone. It�s estimated that between 9% and 15% of
the American population don�t go to the dentist each year because of a fear of the
dentist or �dental phobia�. Because this affects so many people, more
dentists are training in the field of dental sedation and offering it as a solution to
their patients. This has made dental sedation one of the fastest
growing areas of dentistry in recent years. If you suffer from dental phobia, dental sedation
can make the trip a more relaxing, stress-free one for you. And it helps no matter what the cause of your
dental fears are� pain, bad past experiences, the feeling of being helpless/loss of control,
and/or embarrassment. Dental sedation can be used for any kind of
dental treatment ranging from a regular tooth cleaning and checkup up to more invasive dental
treatments. How dental sedation is used depends both on
the type of treatment, the severity of the patient�s fear as well as the patient�s
overall health (both physical and mental) as well as their medical history. The goal of dental sedation is to provide
a calm and relaxing state for the patient as they undergo their treatment. That way they can get the dental care they
need without the high levels of stress and anxiety. Dental Sedation Options
The types of sedation options generally fall into 4 main categories:
Oral sedation � This is the most common option used for dental sedation. With this option, a patient will take a pill
between 30 � 60 minutes before their procedure. Typically the pill is for a sedative in the
Valium (or Diazepam) family and makes the patient drowsy, though usually doesn�t make
them fall asleep. Dosage depends on the severity of the patient�s
phobia and the procedure. Because oral sedatives like this do not provide
pain relief, the dentist will also administer a local anesthetic to the area being treated
to keep the procedure pain free. Nitrous Oxide Sedation � Nitrous Oxide is
commonly known as laughing gas can also be used to help a patient relax during their
dental procedure. This is administered by placing a mask over
the patient�s nose that has a mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen running through it. You�ll typically feel the effects of this
treatment within a few minutes of the mask being placed over your nose and will wear
off soon after the mask is removed. It�s one of the few options where you should
be able to drive yourself home after your appointment. As with oral sedation, Nitrous Oxide Sedation
does not provide pain relief so a local anesthetic needs to be administered to eliminate any
pain during the procedure. Intravenous (IV) Sedation � This is where
you will be administered a sedative drug though a vein instead of taking a pill. The advantage of IV sedation is that it works
more quickly than a pill and the dentist has more control over your level of sedation during
the procedure. Again, it does not provide pain relief so
a local anesthetic may be administered. General anesthesia / Deep sedation � This
is where you will get medication/anesthetic to put you under and make you unconscious
during the procedure. Because you will be in a deep sleep and will
not be aware of what�s going on around you, no local anesthetic is required for this type
of sedation. Dental Sedation Costs
The cost of dental sedation varies depending on the procedure and where you are located. Nitrous Oxide is the least expensive option,
costing anywhere from $25 to $100+. Oral sedation is next falling in the $150-
$500 range. IV sedation typically costs somewhere in the
$500 – $700 range and general anesthesia will usually fall in the $600 – $700 range. Dental sedation services are typically not
covered by insurance so you�ll either have to pay out of pocket or find a financing option
to pay for the treatment.

Author: Kevin Mason

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