Sedation dentistry is a strategy that makes dental procedures easier to tolerate. Patients of all ages can lay back and relax while dental work is completed with little to no discomfort.
Before you decide whether or not sedation would be beneficial for you or your child and what type would be best, you likely have some questions. Is sedation dentistry safe? What are the different types of sedation available? Learn the answers to these questions and more about sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of medically induced relaxation techniques during dental procedures. Sedation may be used in a variety of situations, such as helping an anxious patient feel more relaxed before, during, and after dental work. It can also help to make procedures that are complex, invasive, or lengthy easier on patients.
What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?
There are a few different types of sedation commonly used in dentistry:
- Nitrous oxide. A mask is placed over your nose that delivers nitrous oxide, a special combination of gasses that provide a calm, relaxed feeling. As you breathe in the nitrous oxide your arms and legs may begin to feel heavy and you may feel a tingling sensation in your fingers and toes. Nitrous oxide takes effect in a matter of minutes and wears off just as quickly, allowing you to resume your regular daily activities, including driving.
- Conscious oral sedation. An oral sedative can be prescribed for you to take before your procedure. You will be instructed to take it up to an hour prior to your appointment so that it has time to take effect. It typically makes you feel sleepy or groggy and you may not remember much about your procedure afterwards. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment if you have taken, or are planning to take, an oral sedative.
- IV sedation. A sedative can be administered intravenously at the start of your procedure that provides a deeper level of sedation. You may feel as if you are asleep because you are completely unaware of what is going on around you, but you are technically conscious and responsive. You will need someone to drive you home from your appointment if you are having IV sedation.
How Safe is Sedation Dentistry?
All forms of sedation dentistry are safe for most patients. Unless you have a medical condition that would interfere with the use of some forms of anesthesia, there should be no reason to be concerned about sedation. A complete medical history and list of all of the medications you are currently taking will need to be gathered before any form of sedation is administered. Nitrous oxide is generally considered to be the safest form of sedation as it wears off quickly and has minimal side effects.
What Type of Sedation is Right For Me?
The right type of sedation often depends on the situation. For a minor or minimally invasive procedure, sedation may not even be necessary, as local anesthesia can numb the area to prevent you from feeling any pain. For anxiety, nitrous oxide is typically effective. If a patient has a respiratory condition that prevents the use of nitrous oxide, an oral sedative may be a better choice. For something more invasive, such as oral surgery, IV sedation may be necessary.
Elite Endodontics of NH Offers Sedation Dentistry
Endodontics is a specialization within the field of dentistry that focuses on the health of the teeth from the inside. Endodontic procedures range from non-invasive to minimally invasive. The appropriate type of sedation depends on the procedure and the preference of the patient.
At Elite Endodontics we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible while providing the treatment needed to restore the health of your teeth. We offer a range of sedation options to make your experience relaxing and stress-free.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures, especially those with dental anxiety, a lifelong phobia of dental surgery, or those simply feeling a bit uneasy about an upcoming dental procedure. Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry," although that term is not entirely accurate. Patients are typically awake during sedation dentistry, with the exception of those who undergo general anesthesia, which is increasingly rare these days.
Although modern root canal therapy and other oral surgery are virtually pain-free, thanks to local anesthetic and modern advances in technology, many patients still report being very nervous about such procedures. For these patients who need this level of dental care, several different types of sedation dentistry may provide suitable options to overcome fear, anxiety and dental phobias.
Which Sedation Dentistry Technique is Right for Me?
Depending on the level of anxiety or fear present in the patient, there are multiple dental sedation options to consider:
- Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is the mildest form of dental sedation. Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is very safe, with few risks or side effects. Nitrous oxide also takes effect quickly and wears off just as quickly, so patients are typically able to drive themselves home from following the procedure. Nitrous oxide can relax patients, but they remain conscious and aware of their surroundings while the gas is being administered. Dental assistants place a small mask over the patient’s nose, who then breathes in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. The amount used can be adjusted throughout the procedure and as determined necessary by the dental surgery team. Most patients are good candidates for nitrous oxide sedation, but those who have COPD, emphysema, or other conditions (such as recent cases of COVID-19) that cause difficulties with breathing should pursue an alternative to nitrous oxide treatment.
- Conscious Oral Sedation: Conscious oral sedation is an alternative minimal sedation that, like nitrous oxide, allows the patient to remain awake but feeling more relaxed during a dental operation. It’s considered well-suited for patients who require a deeper level of sedation than that offered by nitrous oxide, but who prefer to avoid intravenous sedation. Dentists will often prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the patient to take prior to the procedure, as an accompanying medication to conscious oral sedation. Because it can take a few hours for the effects of this procedure to wear off, patients need to have someone drive them to and from the appointment.
- Intravenous Sedation: Intravenous sedation, or IV sedation, is ideal for patients who suffer from more serious dental phobia and severe anxiety. For the patient’s safety, IV sedation services are performed by board-certified dentist anesthesiologists. Sedation is administered through a vein, which allows the medication to work quickly. Technically speaking, the patient remains conscious during the procedure, but will be in a semi-awake state and have little to no memory of undergoing the treatment once it’s complete. Because of this, patients often feel as if they’ve slept through their procedure, but they technically remain awake throughout.
Again, modern dental surgery, like root canal procedures, are largely pain-free in this day and age. Still, many patients have anxiety about the procedure, which is understandable, given their history and reputations. The good news is that there are a range of dental sedation options for you to consider, from mild nitrous oxide to IV sedation, to ensure your comfort and allow you to receive necessary dental care and important oral procedures.
The team at Elite Endodontics of NH is ready to assist you in getting comfortable dental care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Dental anxiety plagues many people, even causing them to avoid the dentist until their oral health demands a visit. Thankfully, there are many sedation options available that allow patients to remain calm, relaxed, and free of fear while the dentists do what they do best.
If you think you would benefit from sedation dentistry, you may be under the impression that it is too expensive. Believe it or not, it may be more affordable than you think!
Let’s talk about the cost of sedation dentistry in Hudson, NH.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are different types of sedation methods available, from mild to intravenous options. All greatly help ease any anxiety, fears, or phobias that patients have.
Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, is the most common and most mild form of sedation used in dental procedures. From kids to adults, many find that this makes the visit a breeze. With a small mask that fits over the nose, the effects kick in immediately and dissipate quickly after the mask is removed.
Conscious Oral Sedation. This type of sedation involves taking prescription anti-anxiety medication before the procedure. It is a deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide can bring, but the patient is still awake and aware of the surroundings -- just deeply relaxed. The effects of this will last much longer.
IV Sedation. The deepest and strongest form of sedation dentistry is IV sedation. This is often reserved for those with severe anxiety or who have multiple procedures to complete at once. You will be conscious but in a semi-awake state. This medication is administered through an IV into your vein.
The Cost of Sedation Dentistry
The cost of sedation dentistry varies greatly between the types. And it is often charged by the usage time. Though many dentists know how much time is needed for various procedures and can advise of the sedation cost accordingly.
Depending on the dental office, some may offer discounts or options in an effort to try and offset the additional cost of the sedation. Be sure to check with your dental team before making any decisions.
So, how much does it cost?
Nitrous oxide, the mild sedation method, runs about $75 to $150 per hour. Conscious oral sedation involves taking a prescribed anti-anxiety pill. Depending on whether you have medical insurance or not, this could be a very affordable option - especially since it generally means purchasing only one pill. Finally, IV sedation is the most expensive option due to all that is involved. This can often run between $500 and $1000 per hour.
Of course, the best way to get a true idea of how much your sedation dentistry in Hudson, NH will cost is to ask your dentist.
Let Elite Endodontics of NH Meet Your Endodontic Needs
At Elite Endodontics of NH, we understand that dental anxiety and fear is very real. Because we want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible during their dental procedures, we offer different types of sedation.