Many people are scared to go to the dentist and the idea of undergoing a dental procedure terrifies them. Sedation dentistry is for people who deal with dental anxiety. There are different types of sedation available at San Pablo Dentistry. Our professional care team can help you choose the one that is right for you.

What is sedation dentistry?

Dental sedation includes techniques to help calm patients before they have a dental procedure. It can also be used to help patients be more comfortable during long dental procedures. Some people get anxious about getting numbing shots in their gums. Sedation methods can help ease that anxiety. Some sedatives do not put you to sleep for the procedure, they just have a calming effect. You may not even remember the procedure once it is over, even though you were awake.

Who is a good candidate for sedation at the dentist?

dental examThere are a few reasons you may be a good candidate for sedation while at the dentist’s office. Here are six reasons it might be a good option for you.

  •  Dental visits make you anxious or extremely nervous.
  •  Past traumatic dental experiences.
  •  You are undergoing extensive dental work.
  •  Your teeth are extremely sensitive.
  •  You have a hard time being still.
  •  Your gag reflex is stronger than normal.

Common Types of Sedation

There are three main ways a dentist may sedate you to calm anxiety during dental procedures.

  • Nitrous Oxide. You may have heard this referred to as laughing gas. This method has a mild sedative effect. It helps you relax but does not put you to sleep. A mask is worn so you can easily breathe in the gas. It only takes a few seconds for the gas to begin working. The effects will wear off quickly as soon as the gas is removed. You will be able to drive yourself home afterward.
  • Oral Sedation. Some patients are given medication to be taken by mouth. Each person’s situation is different, and Dr. Kim or Dr. Lee will determine the appropriate dosage. You may be given one pill to take before going in for the dental procedure. Some patients are given one dose the night before and another dose the morning before the procedure. Even though you should remain awake during the procedure, you won’t remember much of it afterward. The medication can make you groggy for a few hours, but it should wear off within 24 hours. You will need someone to drive you home.
  • IV Sedation. During conscious sedation or IV sedation, you will remain conscious during procedures, but you’ll be totally relaxed. You won’t experience pain, and you will not remember the procedure afterward.

Can any dentist perform sedation?

Oral sedation and nitrous oxide can be given by most dentists. However, to administer IV sedation or general anesthesia, dentists have to complete a separate program and become accredited to do so. Some dentists opt to use a specialist or anesthesiologist to administer general anesthesia to their patients.

How safe is sedation dentistry?

Dental sedation is safe for most people. Your San Pablo dentist will talk with you and take your personal needs into account before recommending a type of sedation. Certain health conditions or current medications will be taken into consideration to determine which is the safest method for you.

What types of sedation do Dr. Kim and Dr. Lee use?

It’s important to us that you feel comfortable during your visit. We offer several forms of sedation to patients including IV sedation. Dr. Kim or Dr. Lee will discuss the most appropriate option for you prior to your procedure.

How much does sedation dentistry cost?

The cost for sedation dentistry will vary based on the type of sedation that is used. You will be made aware of the costs of being sedated prior to your procedure. Be sure to check with your insurance to see if your policy covers it.

Contact Our Offices Today

Do you have more questions for the San Pablo dental team? Call us today at (510)722-7810 or fill out our online contact request form to request an appointment. Be sure to ask Dr. Lee or Dr. Kim which method of sedation is right for you.

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