At Castle Dental, it is our goal to provide the highest quality of dental services around. We also know a visit to the dentist for some people comes with a certain level of anxiety. This might stem from an unfortunate situation you experienced as a child, or you may simply become nervous when objects are inside of your mouth. Whatever the reasoning, we want to ensure your comfort level, which is exactly why we provide dental sedation. To find dentist that provides dental sedation, use our handy “dentist near me” search tool to locate your nearest Castle Dental office.
What is Dental Sedation?
Forms of anesthesia have been used in dentistry for decades. Typically, this is a topical application inside of your mouth where a procedure might take place. From root canals to teeth extractions, the topical dental sedation would help prevent patients such as yourself from feeling pain during the process.
In some cases, dental sedation depends on a patient’s pain threshold. For example, during the application of caps or veneers, the very top layer of enamel is removed. During the process, some patients experience little to no pain (it feels more like an intense brushing). However, other patients do experience some pain. This is often due to how nerve endings within the teeth function and the proximity of the endings to the enamel layer. Either way, in the traditional sense, dental sedation has been used to reduce, or eliminate, the feeling of possible pain.
That doesn’t necessarily help your own mindset though, if you suffer from dental anxiety. Don’t worry if you do, it is a common issue many patients have dealt with over the years. Now, dental sedation can be used to help put you at ease. This helps not only you and your own mental state, but it helps the staff here at Castle Dental complete the dental work faster and more efficiently. A relaxed patient is always the best patient.
Forms of Sedation
We use several different forms of sedation here at Castle Dental. Here is a quick overview of each to have a better understanding as to what’s going on.
- First, there’s something referred to as Inhaled Minimal Sedation. This is the “laughing gas” we often use. It is made up of a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. You may feel giggly at first, but it is used to help you feel relaxed. More often than not, when it comes to dental sedation due to anxiety, this is all that is necessary. It helps take that anxious edge off. Plus, we are able to control the level of sedation and it wears off quickly. If we’re planning a procedure, we’ll let you know if this is the kind of sedation we’ll be using or if we need something stronger. This is because laughing gas is the only form of sedation where you can drive yourself home following the procedure. It doesn’t remain long in your body as it is continually expelled from your lungs. Should we need to use any of the other forms, it is important to have another driver take you home as it takes longer to wear off.
- The next option is Oral Sedation. There are a few different forms of this, as it will vary from very little to more moderate. Sometimes you take a mediation to help numb the body. This is consumed about an hour prior to the procedure. You’ll feel sleepy with the pill but it won’t knock you out. Depending on how you react to the pill and your anxiety levels, you may still be given a higher dosage. Now, while the medication isn’t designed to knock you out, plenty of patients do fall asleep, which is perfectly fine.
- The third option is IV Sedation. It essentially is a much more extreme version of the laughing gas. Instead of breathing it in, IV sedation goes through your veins, much like you would have at the doctor or hospital. This form is used as our staff can control the level of sedation in real time, and it goes to work much faster because it runs through your bloodstream.
- Lastly, there is a form of sedation known as Deep Sedation. Other dentists may refer to it as General Anesthesia. With this, the goal is to have you be either nearly or completely unconscious. You’ll fall into a deep sleep for this. This is not the kind of sedation we generally use for anxiety. Instead, this is used for more painful procedures, such as the removing of wisdom teeth where the gums must be cut and the teeth extracted. Have you seen the videos of people being driven home from the dentist and they say very goofy things? It usually us because they are coming home following a procedure with deep sedation.
- Local Anesthetic is a form worth mentioning, although it is a bit different from the others. Local anesthetic doesn’t do anything to prevent your anxiety or to make you fall asleep. It just numbs the given area and reduces discomfort levels during the procedure.
Why Sedation Dental Care?
If you are a patient without dental anxiety, you won’t need dental sedation during normal checkups and most basic procedures. You might need local anesthetic and, in some cases, laughing gas. The other forms of sedation are used for wisdom teeth removal (you also likely won’t need any kind of IV sedation, although it is always a case by case basis).
However, if you do suffer from dental anxiety, experience panic attacks and other mental situations where you are afraid of the dentist office, you’ll more than likely need either the laughing gas or the oral medication. During initial visits, we’ll test out the laughing gas. That is light sedation and goes away quickly, so it might be just enough to put you at ease at the beginning of the procedure. However, if this does not help calm your anxiety, we can go with the oral sedation. Eventually, you likely can start to ween off of dental sedation as you become more accustomed to the dentist.
Cost of Dental Sedation
Most forms of dental sedation are covered by your dental insurance provider. We always recommend knowing what your insurance covers and having a solid understanding of the current policy you use. If you are planning on paying for your dental visit out of pocket, the actual price of the sedation will vary depending on the form uses and the amount needed (it can change depending on body weight and age). So if paying without insurance, talk to us ahead of time for a better price understanding. There are financing and payment plans available to suit your budget and needs.