In order to ensure patients' comfort and safety, we provide a range of dental sedation options. Patients should consider a sedative during any procedure if they experience phobia or anxiety, sensitive teeth or gag reflex, need to complete numerous procedures in one visit, or experience difficulty numbing with local anesthesia alone. Grapevine sedation dentist, Dr. Greg Martin will be happy to review your options prior to beginning any service. Don’t hesitate to ask our team about dental sedation during any appointment, or contact us with questions anytime.
We are happy to offer three levels of dental sedation to ensure complete comfort for every patient we treat. The mildest form is nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This is great for patients with mild anxiety or dental sensitivity who don’t want to experience long lasting effects of sedation. Oral conscious sedation is an effective solution for patients with severe dental phobia. By taking a prescribed oral medication prior to their appointment, patients will be relaxed before they ever leave home. However, the level of sedation is not as easily controlled with this form of sedative. IV sedation allows for the easy adjustment of nitrous oxide with the deeper sedative effects of oral conscious sedation.
This form of moderate sedation is ideal for patients who experience severe dental phobia or anxiety as these patients often find it difficult to leave home for their appointment. Oral sedation is administered in pill form, and patients take the sedative medication at a predetermined time prior to their visit. That means patients are already relaxed before they leave home. Oral sedation is long lasting and offers patients a moderate level of sedation for several hours. While patients remain awake, they are extremely relaxed, and they will likely forget the appointment. Because of the long lasting effects of oral conscious sedation, patients should plan to have a trusted friend or family member drive them to and from their appointment. We recommend patients plan to rest for at least 24 hours from the time they take their last pill.
Nitrous oxide is one of the oldest forms of sedation. Inhaled through a nasal mask during treatment, the doctor is able to quickly and easily adjust dosage to maximize patient comfort. The effects of nitrous oxide are almost immediate, and patients experience significantly reduced stress and pain sensation. Once the nasal mask is removed, the sedative effects wear off quickly as well. That means patients are able to resume regular daily activities immediately following treatment. Nitrous oxide offer a mild sedative effect and is an effective sedation method for any patient with sensitive teeth, gums, or gag reflexes as well as those who would like to be more comfortable during complex or multiple procedures.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is the highest level of sedation we offer our patients. Like nitrous oxide, the IV sedative dosage can be adjusted at any time during the procedure to ensure patients remain completely comfortable. Most patients remain awake, but it’s not uncommon for people to doze during their procedure. In order to ensure patient safety, we recommend a friend or family member escort them to and from our office and monitor them for at least the first few hours as they recover.
Many dental insurance providers now offer full or partial coverage for sedation dentistry services. Our knowledgeable team can offer recommendations that help you take advantage of this coverage to make sedation dentistry services cost effective. Additionally, some forms of sedation are also covered by medical insurance. For instance, patients who choose oral conscious sedation are typically able to save a large amount on this prescription medication by using their medical coverage. Patients in need of advanced treatments that require IV sedation may also be able to use a combination of dental and medical insurance to make their treatment more affordable. Patients who need help covering the out of pocket costs of treatment, can also apply for CareCredit financing to spread their payments for treatment out over the course of several months.
Recovering from dental sedation will be a different experience depending on what type of sedation was used. For example, nitrous oxide will wear off very quickly, and you’ll usually be able to drive yourself home; on the other hand, IV sedation usually takes longer to exit your system, and you’ll need someone else’s help to leave our office. Before your procedure, we’ll give you instructions on recovering from the sedation so that you can plan ahead.
We use sedation to keep you relaxed and comfortable while you are still conscious. Sleep dentistry uses general anesthesia to render you completely unconscious during the procedure. We use sedation instead of this option because it can sedate you enough to receive treatment without some of the after-effects of general anesthesia.
Your transportation plans will depend on the type of sedation that you’re receiving. One of the benefits of nitrous oxide sedation is that it allows patients to relax during the appointment while still being able to drive to and from the office. However, you should plan to have someone take you to your appointment if you choose either oral sedation or IV sedation. Both of these options are stronger than nitrous, but they have lingering effects that can impair motor skills.
We use sedation as a way for our patients to manage their anxiety, however, it is not a cure. This temporary sedation allows us to give you the dental care that you need to keep you healthy, but your own anxiety can’t be cured with sedation. There are many therapists that specialize in treating dental anxiety, which is a great place to start if you wish to get to the root of the problem. For many patients, their mild fear is automatically eased by simply knowing that they have sedation as an option.
The only way to know which type of sedation is best for you is to visit our practice. Dr. Martin and his team will discuss your needs and explain the different types in detail to provide you with the best service for you. Even those without dental fear or anxiety enjoy sedation services because it makes the time go by faster and creates a relaxing sensation. If it sounds like sedation dentistry is right for you, contact our office to receive quality care in a relaxing environment.