Sedation Dentistry – What to Expect

What Should You Expect With Dental Sedation?

Going to the dentist shouldn’t have to be an anxiety-filled experience. At Spring Complete Care Dentistry, we understand that a dentist appointment can be a frightening experience for many of our patients. Sedation dentistry is very common and most find that it makes a big difference. Sedation is a good option for those who need a little extra help getting comfortable and when used along with a local anesthetic, sedation can provide a relaxed, pain-free experience. 

You may have considered sedation, but don’t know what to expect, or if it will work. For many people, understanding more about the process and knowing what to expect removes the fear of the unknown and gets rid of a great deal of stress about their upcoming visit with us. 

Coming to your appointment prepared will help you feel more in control. So to help you make your decision, here are a few questions that we frequently hear about sedation dentistry.

What is sedation dentistry?

The purpose of sedation dentistry is to help patients remain calm, relaxed, and anxiety-free during dental treatments and procedures. 

What are the benefits?

For those who avoid the dentist like the plague, sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for patients with dental fear and anxiety to relax. Once sedation has taken effect, the fear and anxiety melts away, allowing patients to comfortably receive the treatment they need.

Who can benefit from sedation dentistry?

So many people in the Spring, TX area can reap the benefits of sedation dentistry. Many individuals suffer from a dental phobia or have a medical condition that makes a sitting in a dental chair nearly impossible to bear. Sedation dentistry can be helpful to those with:

  • Dental anxiety and fear
  • Who have had a previous negative dental experience
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Those who have a difficult time getting numb
  • Patients who need more complex or multiple procedures in one visit

Will I be unconscious?

No. You will be awake, just deeply relaxed, and comfortable. 

What types of dental sedation do you provide?

At our Spring, TX dental office, we offer 2 types of dental sedation. Inhaled nitrous oxide sedation and oral conscious sedation.

Will I feel anything?

The local anesthetic will eliminate any pain. In most cases, when it’s used in addition to a sedative, many patients leave their appointment feeling relaxed and comfortable, with almost no memory of the treatment.

How fast does it begin to work?

Nitrous Oxide begins working almost immediately. When using oral sedation, it takes about 30 – 45 minutes after you have taken the pill for the sedation to set in.

How long does sedation last?

Nitrous oxide sedation is a mild sedative that is inhaled through the nose through a mask during the entire length of the procedure. The effects wear off almost immediately after your treatment ends. 

Oral conscious sedation is a slightly stronger form of sedation and it involves taking a mild sedative shortly before your appointment. The effects last 3 to 4 hours after your appointment. 

With either form of sedation, you are awake throughout your treatment and can respond to requests, but you are deeply relaxed and at ease.

Do I need to bring someone with me?

Because the effects of Nitrous Oxide wear off just as quickly as they set in, you will be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.

If you are opting for oral conscious sedation, you will be taking a mild sedative pill about an hour before your appointment. You will still be under the effects of sedation for a few hours after your appointment and unable to drive a vehicle. You will need someone to accompany you to and from your appointment.

Is it safe?

The simple answer is that for most patients, it is a safe option. There is very low risk associated with sedation during dental procedures. However, before considering any type of sedation dentistry, it is important to make sure you share any health conditions you may have and any medications or supplements that you are taking with us. Before your treatment, Dr. Tan will talk with you and together you’ll decide which sedation option is right for your needs.

Are there any side effects?

With the sedation dentistry techniques used by Dr. Tan, there are very few side effects. On rare occasions, some may experience nausea with nitrous oxide, or hiccups, or dry mouth with oral sedation. Most of the side effects of sedation dentistry are welcome such as feeling the time pass by quickly or retaining little memory of their time in the dental chair.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

Like most customized dental treatments, the cost of sedation dentistry will vary depending on the type of treatment received (oral sedation or nitrous oxide). Sedation dentistry that is deemed medically necessary may be covered by insurance. However, some treatments are considered a luxury service and do not qualify for coverage. Our staff will be happy to check if sedation dentistry is covered under your particular insurance plan. If it’s not, no worries! We provide flexible payment plans, with easy monthly payments.

What is the first step?

It’s important to talk to us about any fears or concerns. You will never be judged or made to feel embarrassed. If you are extremely anxious or nervous about visiting the dentist, or an upcoming dental procedure, then sedation dentistry is probably a good option for you. Dr. Jeff Tan, DDS is one of the leading sedation dentists in the Spring, Texas area.

**Click here to learn more about sedation dentistry**