Countless people around the world avoid going to the dentist simply because they are afraid. This condition is known as “dental anxiety.” As we all know, anxiety is a normal human reaction that can be triggered by endless scenarios, and our team at Roberts Dental Group sympathizes with those who suffer. We believe that when anxiety stands in the way of basic necessities, such as healthcare, it is generally time to manage your fears. For those experiencing dental anxiety, sedation dentistry can be extremely helpful.
- What is Sedation Dentistry?
- Oral Conscious Sedation Process
- Oral Conscious Sedation Safety
- Oral Conscious Sedation Side Effects
- Oral Conscious Sedation Cost
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
The term “sedation dentistry” refers to the many different types of sedation used during dental procedures. These methods range in strength, with more intensive methods (e.g. anesthesia) being used for more in-depth procedures and surgeries. No matter the procedure or level of sedation, the goal of sedation dentistry is to increase comfort and reduce anxiety.
Our cosmetic dentist, Justin Roberts, DDS, has years of experience in several areas of advanced dentistry. He has found the most conservative yet effective method of sedation dentistry to be oral conscious sedation. This technique can be used during many oral treatments, including those as routine as cleanings or root canal therapy. Dr. Roberts encourages you to discuss any fears with him in order to create as peaceful an experience as possible for you.
How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?
Oral conscious sedation is often a wonderful choice for those who:
- Are afraid of going to the dentist
- Are uncomfortable or fidgety while undergoing dental treatment
- Dislike needles
- Have a low tolerance for pain or discomfort
- Have a severe gag reflex
As the name suggests, oral conscious sedation is administered via an oral medication. Patients usually take the pill about an hour before their appointment, but sometimes choose to take it the night before depending on their anxiety level. The pill is designed to provide a strong feeling of relaxation that lasts throughout the visit.
With the pill in your system, you can expect to feel drowsy, but still lucid enough to communicate with other people. (This differs from methods like anesthesia, which causes patients to become totally unconscious.) That said, many patients will fall asleep during the procedure, which is a normal effect due to feeling so relaxed. After the procedure is over, patients often have little to no recollection of their treatment.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
When administered by a qualified dental professional, sedation dentistry is considered extremely safe. Dr. Roberts provides a consultation for all of his patients, during which he will review your medical history and make sure you are eligible for treatment. Also during this initial meeting, he will prescribe a dosage based on your height, weight, and age, as well as the amount deemed safe by the FDA. He will adjust the dosage according to your anxiety level, as well. You are welcome to discuss any concerns about the medication or dosage with Dr. Roberts at any point.
Will I Have Any Side Effects After My Conscious Sedation?
The drowsiness brought on by oral conscious sedation should wear off shortly after the procedure ends. To ensure your safety, we recommend that you arrange a ride to and from our office.
Side effects unrelated to this sleepy, drowsy state are usually minimal, but some have reported headaches or nausea as the sedation wears off. Your oxygen levels will be closely monitored throughout the procedure, posing little opportunity for complications.
How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?
The precise cost of sedation at our practice is contingent upon the dosage of oral conscious sedation, which itself varies upon the extent of treatment and several other factors. We can determine the price of this part of your procedure during your consultation. In the meantime, please feel free to explore our financial options.
If you are suffering from dental anxiety, we encourage you to consider our practice. Dr. Roberts and the rest of our team will listen to your every concern and do their best to calm any anxiety that may arise. We welcome you to contact us today.