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Sedation Dentistry

sedationDental anxiety is a common condition that can prevent people from receiving the oral care they need. In extreme cases, patients may even try to endure tooth pain or other oral health concerns due to fear of the dentist. Fortunately, Elgin cosmetic dentist Dean Lodding, DDS and our team offer a number of sedation techniques that can put you in a relaxed and comfortable state during your visit, effectively diminishing—or even alleviating—any concerns or dental phobias you might have. With the aid of sedation dentistry, you can receive the treatment you need and/or desire while helping to prevent the development of more complicated and costly oral health issues later down the road.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry works by calming patients and allowing them to enter a deeply relaxed state. Whether administered via nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, you will typically be able to communicate with your dentist during the procedure. These sedation techniques can make you completely comfortable during treatment, often allowing your dentist to perform procedures, such as root canals, with more efficiency and shortening the duration of the appointment. In some cases, sedation dentistry may enable your dentist to perform multiple procedures simultaneously, reducing the overall number of office visits needed to complete all necessary dental work.

While sedation dentistry is often associated with more general or restorative procedures, it can also be included as a part of your cosmetic dentistry treatment plan. Fear of the dentist doesn’t have to hold you back from obtaining the beautiful smile you desire. Contact us today to learn more about combining sedation techniques with cosmetic procedures, including porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns!

Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

If you are reluctant to visit the dentist due to anxiety, sedation dentistry from our dental team may be right for you. Sedation dentistry candidates often exhibit similar qualities, including:

  • Moderate to severe dental phobia
  • Fear of needles
  • Easily triggered gag reflex
  • Difficulty keeping still in the dentist’s chair
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Prior negative experiences with a dentist

To make sure you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry, one of our dentists will review your medical history—including all current medications—to make sure there are no apparent health risks. Your dentist will then recommend the type of sedation that best suits your needs.

What Types of Sedation Dentistry Are Available?

We offer three different types of sedation techniques at Smile for Life Dental: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.

  • Nitrous oxide

    Nitrous oxide, more commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” works to relax patients quickly through inhalation. This method of sedation can be used before treatment begins and can often make the administration of local anesthetics (if needed) more comfortable. Since the effects of nitrous oxide wear off very soon after treatment is complete, patients are typically still able to drive themselves home afterward.

  • Oral Conscious Sedation

    With oral conscious sedation, a small pill (taken by mouth right before the procedure) deeply relaxes patients while further dulling any potential treatment discomfort. Though this method of sedation still allows patients to communicate with the dentist, some individuals enter a sleep-like state and do not remember the procedure after its completion. With oral conscious sedation, we recommend that patients arrange transportation home from their appointment, as the effects can linger for some time.

  • IV Sedation

    IV sedation—sometimes referred to as moderate or twilight sedation—involves the controlled intravenous delivery of anaesthesia directly into the bloodstream. This form of sedation is designed to induce total relaxation and mitigate any discomfort while still allowing patients to remain responsive during treatment. Many patients report feeling as though they had entered a dream-like state, and they often have little or no memory of the procedure. We recommend that those receiving IV sedation arrange to have someone else transport them home, as they may feel somewhat drowsy or groggy for a while in the aftermath of their procedure(s).

What Are the Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is generally considered very safe, and there are very few side effects associated with either of the sedation methods offered at Smile For Life Dental. Any potential post-sedation symptoms typically depend on the type of sedation utilized. Patients who receive nitrous oxide may experience some mild nausea or dizziness, but these symptoms are usually quite temporary and the effects of the gas should wear off quickly after treatment. Most people are able to drive themselves home after nitrous oxide treatment with no difficulty.

Patients who undergo oral conscious sedation may experience more intense drowsiness following their procedure, which is why it is recommended that they arrange for someone else to drive them home after their appointment. They may also experience dry mouth or develop a headache. These symptoms typically resolve within a few hours after treatment.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

All of the sedation dentistry techniques offered at Smile For Life Dental are considered very safe when administered by a properly trained and certified dentist. As an additional measure, prior to undergoing any kind of sedation, our team will carefully go over your medical history and take note of any medications you are currently taking. This can help prevent any potential drug interactions and allergy responses. Ultimately, the goal of sedation dentistry is to help patients who may otherwise avoid dental care get the treatment that they need. Your health and safety are of maximum importance to us, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that your treatment goes as smoothly and safely as possible.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

The precise cost of sedation dentistry differs based on the type of sedation utilized and other factors relating to the dental treatment involved. After you meet with one of our dentists to go over your care needs, a more precise treatment plan can be developed. From there, a member of our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to go over the costs associated with your procedure(s), including any sedation techniques employed. 

Dr. Lodding and his team firmly believe that high-quality dental care in a stress-free environment should be available to everyone, regardless of budget. That is why we offer a variety of dental financing and insurance options, including third-party financing through trusted healthcare lenders such as CareCredit® and ALPHAEON® CREDIT.

Contact Us

For more information about sedation dentistry techniques, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, please contact our office today.