Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Portrait of a loving married couple at homeSince many people suffer with dental-related anxieties and phobias, Dr. Christian offers sedation dentistry as a method to help our fearful guests feel at ease. Various types of sedation have been used in dentistry for over a century to relieve discomfort and anxiety. Our practice is equipped to provide three types of safe and effective sedation that relieve even the most stubborn dental phobias.

Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder and many folks develop dental phobias because of sounds and sensations commonly heard in a dental practice. Those predisposed to panic attacks may also have trouble receiving treatment. Since phobias produce very debilitating feelings of panic and worry, we offer sedation so that our fearful patients can receive treatment in a much more comfortable and relaxed setting.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is one of the oldest methods for improving a patient’s dental experience. While this gas has been used for over a century, its effects are not dated. Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative and analgesic that can greatly improve many patients’ experiences during treatment. This type of sedation is beneficial because its effects work quickly. Nitrous oxide doesn’t take long to wear off after treatment, which allows patients to drive themselves to and from their appointments.

Oral Sedation

For those who struggle with more pronounced fears and phobias, oral sedation might be needed for relief. Oral sedatives are prescribed to a patient before one’s appointment. In some instances, a tablet might be taken both the night before treatment (to ensure a restful night’s sleep) and about an hour before treatment. The type of medication prescribed comes from a family of drugs called benzodiazepines. This medication class is formulated to target the chemical reaction that produces anxiety. It slows down the central nervous system to produce relaxing and calming effects. Since this medication impairs cognitive and motor function, patients must arrange for a ride to and from our office. 

IV Sedation

Those with severe phobias and those receiving complex and lengthy treatment might benefit from IV sedation. Administered intravenously, this form of sedation is very powerful and effective. Sometimes a mixture of medication may be used that includes both a sedative and an anesthetic. When administering IV sedation, our practice follows the strictest protocols to ensure one’s safety and comfort. We will monitor vitals closely, too. The dosage used in IV sedation is adjustable during treatment, which allows our doctor greater control over a medication’s effects on a patient. Since this type of sedation involves powerful medication with lingering effects, patients will need transportation to our office for their appointments.

If you suffer with dental phobias and anxiety in clinical situations, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with our compassionate team. Our mission is to help you receive the healthcare you need and deserve in the most comfortable setting possible.

To learn more about sedation dentistry and our other amenities, call us today.


Frequently Asked Questions

gum diseaseWhat is dental anxiety and phobia?

Anxiety comes in many forms and this mental health affliction affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Sometimes, anxiety can manifest into specific phobias such as intense and irrational fears of dental treatment. Since dental phobias are quite common, sedatives are used to help ease the symptoms of worry and panic. Having dental anxiety can keep patients from receiving treatment. Phobias are quite powerful and when they prevent a person from necessary and beneficial healthcare, a person’s oral health can greatly suffer.

What is conscious sedation for dental work?

Conscious sedation involves the administration of a prescription medication – normally in tablet form. When conscious sedation is necessary, our dentist will prescribe a small amount of the medication to be taken 30 to 45 minutes before treatment. The class of medication used comes from the benzodiazepine family of drugs. This type of medication works with GABA receptors in the brain to prevent and stop feelings of panic and worry.

Conscious or oral sedation means that a patient will feel relaxed, at ease, and able to respond to commands. While oral sedation can cause drowsiness, a patient will be able to wake up easily. Since this medication can have effects for a few hours, it is necessary for patients to have a ride to and from our practice.

How much does sedation dentistry cost?

The price of sedation varies depending on the type used. For instance, nitrous oxide is quite affordable and is administered in gaseous form. Oral sedatives prescribed by our dentist are affordable as well – for those with and without dental insurance. IV sedation, however, is a more complex form of sedation dentistry that requires advanced equipment and constant monitoring. For this reason, patients’ costs will be higher.

In some cases, dental insurance will help offset these costs. To discuss financing and insurance billing, call our office for more detailed information.