Not everyone has had positive experiences with their healthcare providers, but there are options that make receiving treatment more comfortable. Sedation options are an effective way to receive the dental care you need without the stress and anxiety that may come with visiting the dentist’s office. There’s no reason to feel pain or anxiety during dental treatment. And all it takes to get started with sedation dentistry is a simple conversation with your dentist.
It is estimated that about 40% of Americans are affected by dental anxiety.
First, your dentist will review your treatment plan to determine if sedation is a good option for your procedure. Certain types of sedation are recommended, or necessary, for more invasive or lengthy dental procedures. But there are others that are better for relieving tension and anxiety.
Your dentist will discuss your health history and overall health to determine if sedation is appropriate for you. Certain issues, like past drug addiction, the use of certain prescription medications, and some health problems may affect your ability to be sedated with your chosen method.
Your dentist will ask questions to determine your particular needs and concerns. How deeply do you wish to be sedated? What is making you anxious about your procedure? Do you have a low pain threshold? An honest conversation about the answers will help determine which sedation options will be appropriate for you.
With the information your dentist has collected, they will lay out all your available sedation options and discuss with you each one’s effects and instructions. With their recommendation and your input, we can help you choose the right option for your procedure.
This method of sedation is ideal if you are nervous about an upcoming dental procedure or appointment, but want to avoid being deeply sedated. Your dentist will pump a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen through a nose mask, and you’ll breathe through this mask whenever you’re directed to do so.
As you breathe in the gas, you’ll feel less nervous, and may experience a “floaty” or “dreamy” feeling. Although you may feel a little disconnected from what’s happening around you, you won’t fall asleep, and you will remain aware of what’s going on during your procedure.
A few of the best benefits of this sedation method is that side effects are minimal, and the effects of the sedation wear off within a few minutes of the nose mask being removed. You can drive yourself home and get back to your day-to-day routine immediately after your treatment.
Oral conscious sedation uses a strong pill or liquid sedative that you’ll take about 30-60 minutes before your appointment. Once the sedative takes effect, you’ll begin to feel groggy and tired. In some cases, you may end up falling asleep during your appointment.
With oral conscious sedation, anterograde amnesia is very common. This means you may forget much of your procedure.
Side effects are more prolonged compared to nitrous oxide sedation. Grogginess will likely continue well-after your appointment, so you will not be able to drive or operate heavy machinery for a least 4-6 hours. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from our office in Westfield if you choose oral conscious sedation.
Laughing gas is safe, effective, and has been used in dentistry since the late 19th century.
Primarily, sedation is used to treat dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is a very common issue, and can often prevent patients from getting the dental care they need. If you are anxious or nervous about coming to the dentist, sedation can help you feel more safe and comfortable.
Additionally, sedation helps with pain and discomfort during more invasive procedures, such as tooth extractions and dental implant placement. It also helps you feel more comfortable if you require multiple dental procedures and need to sit still for several hours during treatment.
As long as you are healthy, do not have a history of drug abuse, and are not taking any medications that may interfere with the sedation process, you should be a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Contact us to learn more about your options, and to get the conversation started.
This depends on the method of sedation you choose. With laughing gas, you will feel light-headed, giggly, and relaxed, but you will be fully conscious and aware of your surroundings. You will also feel less discomfort during treatment.
Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation will usually make you feel groggy and “out of it”. You will likely fall asleep, and probably won’t remember much about your procedure. However, you will not be unconscious, and you can still be woken and respond to commands.
General anesthesia is the deepest level of sedation. You will be completely unconscious and will not feel anything or remember anything from your procedure.
Yes. All methods of sedation dentistry are provided by qualified professionals at our office, and have minimal side effects. While deeper methods of sedation like oral conscious sedation and IV sedation have more prolonged side effects compared to laughing gas, they are still very safe, and they have no serious risks to your health or well-being if you are a good candidate for sedation.
This depends on the type of sedation you choose, since we offer both nitrous oxide sedation and pill-based oral conscious sedation. For nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation, the effects usually only last a few minutes after you stop breathing in the gas. Dr. Barton will pump oxygen through your mask to purge the nitrous oxide from your bloodstream. This helps reduce side effects, and means that you'll usually feel normal within about five minutes after your treatment is complete.
This is not the case for pill-based oral conscious sedation. The after-effects of oral conscious sedation usually last at least several hours, and some people may have some lingering effects for much longer. This is why you need someone to bring you to Harmony Dentistry for your appointment, and to take you home and take care of you after treatment. You should not drive, operate heavy machinery, or go back to work or school until the effects of oral conscious sedation wear off.
Yes. For nitrous oxide sedation, these effects are minimal and usually go away after a few minutes. You may feel a bit dizzy, confused, and “out of it.” Nausea is also a common side effect of nitrous oxide sedation, which is why we recommend avoiding eating a big meal before your appointment. Shivering and sweating may also happen, but this is more rare.
For pill-based oral conscious sedation, the side effects are usually more intense. And, as mentioned, they last 4-6 hours, though this may vary depending on the patient. After your procedure, you will feel very groggy and confused, and you may have a headache. You also may have forgotten most of what happened. Nausea is common, and your motor skills and decision-making will be impaired.
Dental sedation is not meant to help relieve pain. This is why it’s used alongside numbing injections. Numbing injections penetrate deeply into your mouth, and “turn off” the nerves that receive pain signals. This means that you will not feel any pain or discomfort during your treatment.
However, dental sedation can make you feel less anxious about pain, which may cause you to feel less overall discomfort during your procedure. This is especially true if you choose oral conscious sedation and you end up sleeping through your appointment or forgetting most of what happened during your procedure.
So while it’s not a solution for treating dental pain and discomfort, sedation is a valuable tool for keeping patients comfortable at Harmony Dentistry. If you’re worried about pain during your appointment in Westfield, IN, a combination of local numbing and dental sedation from Dr. Jessica Barton is just what you need.
In most cases, the answer is “no.” Despite its proven benefits, most dental insurance companies and policies do not cover the cost of dental sedation for patients. However, this may vary depending on your insurer and your plan. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, we recommend consulting directly with your insurance company before you schedule your appointment at Harmony Dentistry.
Sedation can be used to control an overactive gag-reflex, fear of needles, or a low-pain threshold.