A large number of individuals are so nervous or fearful of going to the dentist, many of them don’t go at all. This can have serious effects on your oral health, as well as keep you from having better-looking teeth. Cosmetic dentist Kevin Sands, DDS offers sedation (sleep) dentistry to relieve you of your dental anxiety and make your procedure virtually painless. With our sedation dentistry options, the time you spend with us can be comfortable, relaxing, and even pleasant!
The term “sedation dentistry” refers to various methods used to relax patients during dental treatments. More intensive sedation methods, such as anesthesia, are typically reserved for surgeries, but several options exist to calm patients’ nerves during less invasive procedures, such as everyday dental exams and cleanings.
These techniques vary in strength, but in most cases, they are so effective that patients may only have little to no memory of the procedure. Each sedation dentistry method used at our practice has been proven to be safe, and Dr. Sands has used them successfully throughout his career.
You may be a candidate for sedation dentistry if you suffer from:
If fear of the dentist is preventing you from attaining the oral health care you need, sedation dentistry can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed during your appointment. Delaying necessary dental work can cause existing minor dental issues to develop into more complex, uncomfortable, and costly problems. A consultation with Dr. Sands can reveal if you are indeed a good candidate for sedation, and which type of sedation would be best suited to your current health status, treatment concerns, and dental needs.
Dr. Sands offers the following routine sedation methods:
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, is inhaled through the nose and can place you in a deeply relaxed state. Though you can still communicate with Dr. Sands during the procedure, many patients drift off into a light sleep. This method of sedation begins to take effect in less than a minute, and in most cases, the effects wear off very quickly. Most patients can drive themselves home after treatment with nitrous oxide.
Conscious sedation dentistry is a way of putting you in a state of extreme relaxation without IV sedation. The conscious sedation process involves taking a small pill about one hour before your appointment with Dr. Sands. You will already be feeling very drowsy by the time you arrive at our office, so you will need someone to drive you. You will not be completely asleep during your treatment, and you will be able to communicate with Dr. Sands at all times. Conscious sedation only mimics sleep by putting you in an intensely relaxed state. During your treatment, your vital signs will be constantly monitored. After the procedure, you will likely not even remember the procedure taking place.
For patients suffering from severe dental anxiety, intravenous (IV) sedation can be an effective solution. With IV sedation, you are put to sleep by an experienced anesthesiologist, giving Dr. Sands the opportunity to perform more complex dental procedures. During the procedure, you will be unconscious and have no memory of your dental work after you wake. An anesthesiologist will closely monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure and adhere to the highest safety standards. When you wake up from IV sedation, lingering feelings of grogginess are common. All patients who undergo IV sedation should arrange for transportation home from their appointment.
The most prevalent side effect of sedation dentistry is leftover drowsiness or fatigue from the procedure. While this is normal, please be aware that more potent sedation methods, such as IV sedation, will require you to arrange a ride home.
Otherwise, side effects are typically minimal, though some patients report dizziness, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms, which usually fade within hours.
When administered by a professional, sedation dentistry is generally very safe and effective. While side effects such as headaches or dizziness may occur, they are not known to be permanent or long-lasting. Dr. Sands will carefully evaluate your health and needs before deciding upon a method and dosage of sedation. For your safety, your vitals will be closely monitored throughout your treatment.
The cost of sedation dentistry varies upon several factors, such as the method utilized, the dosage administered, the length and extent of treatment, and other specifics of the procedure. That said, the following are the approximate average costs of the sedation techniques we offer:
These are not actual quotes; rather, they are rough estimates of the cost of a typical sedation dentistry treatment. During your consultation, Dr. Sands would be glad to provide you with specific pricing for your entire procedure, including sedation dentistry methods.
While sedation relaxes you, local anesthetics may still be applied to numb the treatment area and eliminate the potential for uncomfortable sensations. The exact plan will depend on the dental procedure you are undergoing and the sedation method being used. During the consultation process, Dr. Sands will help you choose the method of sedation that is best for your unique needs. Patients under sedation typically feel little to no discomfort, and some patients even feel so comfortable under sedation that they drift off to sleep.
Nitrous oxide can place patients in a state of deep relaxation very quickly, and the effects of this sedation typically wear off soon after the procedure is complete. Conversely, the effects of oral conscious sedation and IV sedation may last an additional two to six hours after the completion of the procedure.
Most patients who choose nitrous oxide are able to drive themselves home shortly after their appointment. We recommend patients who undergo either oral conscious sedation or IV sedation coordinate transportation home from their appointment with a family member or friend.
If you are considering sedation dentistry, or would like to learn more about the benefits of these techniques, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Sands or call our office today.
After 2 decades of searching, I discovered Thin Dental Veneers and more importantly, Dr. Sands and their staff. They took their time to explain all of the options and how everything worked. Their attention to detail was more than I could dream of. People no longer ask me what is wrong with my teeth, but rather “What did you do to make them so perfect!”. Dr. Sands and his team not only gave me a complete smile makeover, but also put a smile on my face.