Dental sedation is a method that can be used when a patient suffers from
dental anxiety or dental phobia. The patient can choose from various options
to ensure comfort and to ease any anxiety he/she may have. Some options
we offer include conscious sedation with sedatives, inhalation nitrous
oxide sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation and general anesthesia sedation.
The sedation options offered by Dr. Elyassi enable patients, who might
otherwise avoid the dentist, to receive dental treatments necessary for
a healthy smile.
According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS , a professional dental organization dedicated to ensuring that patients receive safe, comfortable and anxiety-free dental care), 30 percent of the population avoids the dentist due to fear of pain. This all-too-common “dental phobia” prevents people from receiving necessary routine dental care, potentially compromising the health and functionality of their mouth and smile.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
One of the major benefits of sedation dentistry is that people often feel like their dental procedure lasts only a few minutes, when in fact it might have taken hours to perform. Therefore, complex dental procedures such as smile makeovers or extensive rebuilding procedures that normally require multiple visits can often be performed in fewer appointments.
If you are reluctant to change the appearance of your smile because you are afraid or anxious about undergoing long or complicated dental procedures, sedation dentistry can make you feel comfortable during the treatment process and help you achieve a smile you can be proud of.
Also, because sedation dentistry addresses some of the fears that keep people from going to the dentist on a regular basis, sedation dentistry patients are more likely to receive recommended routine care. As a result, they are less likely to neglect their oral health or allow oral health problems to build to the point when drastic dental treatments become necessary.
Regardless of the type of sedation dentistry you receive, it is important to have a responsible caregiver accompany you to the procedure (and drive you there if you must take oral medication before arriving for your appointment). The caregiver should drive you home after the procedure is complete and stay with you for an additional two to four hours at home.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV sedation is both safe and effective when administered by a trained professional. Intravenous (IV) sedation does not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered in conjunction with this method of dental sedation.
Oral sedation dentistry is now the most common technique used in the United States and Canada to quell patient fears. The technique is easy and requires no needles. Best of all, the medications create such a comfortable experience that most patients do not remember the visit; it is as if they slept through the treatment. In reality, oral sedation dentistry maintains a level of consciousness in the patient for safety and cooperation. Oral sedative medications such as diazepam can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour before the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
In one form of conscious inhalation sedation, nitrous oxide gas (also known as laughing gas) is used to induce a state of relaxation. A local anesthetic will be administered in combination with nitrous oxide sedation to eliminate pain.
This method of dental sedation refers to the use of anesthetic to render the patient unconscious. Unlike other sedation methods, the patient will be completely unaware of his or her surroundings, making the use of local anesthetic unnecessary.
Sedation dentistry has occasionally been dubbed sleep dentistry, but this term is misleading. In actual fact, you do not sleep during the procedure, but because of the effects produced by the sedative, you may feel sleepy.
Sedation dentistry enables you to be kept awake throughout the entire procedure, but you will feel relaxed and likely won’t remember much about your treatment. The use of general anesthesia is not considered sedation dentistry.
According to DOCS , insurance companies do not pay for sedation; however, some non-intravenous sedation procedure codes may apply to your treatment.
For example, if you are undergoing periodontal scaling and root planing of all four quadrants of your mouth, insurance companies may cover the costs of this procedure if it is completed in one appointment if you are sedated, rather than requiring you to stretch out the procedure to four separate appointments.