Dental anxiety is real, but sedation dentistry ensures you don’t have to go without the dental care you need because of it. Even though, for many years it was often thought that the best way to deal with this was to simply ignore those dreaded visits to the dentist office. We all know that this isn’t the best way to take care of things as it could lead to a point where your oral health is ignored.
The increased number of people (as many as 75% of Americans) who have some form of fear when it comes to going to the dentist is one of the driving forces that helped bring sedation dentistry entirely into the light for all to see. In fact, it just might be more popular today than it has ever been before.
From understanding exactly what sedation industry is, to how much it costs, and even how to find the best sedation dentist, we have covered it all in this guide. It is our contribution to the mission of bringing all the dental information you need together, once and for all. With that said, we present to you our ultimate guide on sedation dentistry. Enjoy!
What is sedation dentistry?
Some may have heard that they have to embrace one of the dental procedures that require sedation, but others probably have some form of dental anxiety and want their visit to the dentist to be as comfortable as possible. Whatever the case may be, dental sedation provides patients with the opportunity to have their dentist use a sedative to help them get through the procedure.
There are two common ways for dental patients to be sedated, with intravenous sedation being the veteran since it was always one of the most common methods. As the world of dentistry progressed, so did the forms of sedation, and now oral sedatives seem to be the most popular choice among dentists in both the United States as well as Canada.
Each patient has their own needs, so the route that is taken will be dependent on what your sedation dentist feels is the best. They will consider your pain tolerance, the complexity of the procedure, and much more to make sure that their decision is one that is truly the most logical in your case.
Understanding the Different Levels & Types of Dental Sedation
You might have heard sedation dentistry called sleep dentistry, but this term can be quite misleading. There are times when the patient is awake when getting their dental work done, just like there are times when they might be asleep during the procedure. Here are the various types of sedation as well as the different levels of dental sedation.
· Deep Sedation
You will be teetering on the edge of consciousness, so you won’t be able to remember much (if any) of the dental procedure at all. If there comes a time where you need to be awakened for cooperation during the dental procedure, the dentist and their team can awaken you out of deep sedation.
Since this is one of the most intense forms of sedation methods used in a dental office, it can only be achieved through IV sedation and/or general anesthesia. You can expect deep sedation for dental work to cost on average $150 for the first 30 minutes of the procedure, and $100-$125 for every 15 minutes thereafter.
· General Anesthesia
With this route, you will be completely asleep during the process. You will be unconscious as well as unaware of what’s going on. This is only used in the most complex procedures and where other forms of sedation might not provide the best option for dental sedation. This is one of the more expensive types of sedation dentistry, with an average cost of $400 initially for the first 30 minutes and $150 for every 15 minutes thereafter.
· Minimal Sedation
You will be completely awake during the procedure, but you will also be relaxed. While you may be awake the pain during the dental procedure isn’t going to be an issue. Since this is a mild form of sedation, you can expect to be aware of what’s going on around you.
This is what is used when mild sedation is necessary, and it is also the most popular type of sedation among those who have dental anxiety. A facemask is used to deliver a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) before and during the procedure.
If necessary, a pill can also be used in combination with laughing gas to create a feeling of anxiolysis (relief of anxiety). Make sure that when your dentist asks you about any medications that you’re taking, medical conditions you have, and any past drug usage, you provide them with an honest answer so the right medications are chosen.
As far as the cost of mild sedation/laughing gas at a sedation dentist, the price seems to be within the ballpark of $50-$60. This makes it not only one of the most popular ways to embrace sedation dentistry, but one of the most affordable as well.
· Moderate Sedation
This is often referred to as conscious sedation, and it provides the patient with the opportunity to have a chance to not even remember what happened. When speaking, your speech may be slurred until the sedation has had a chance to wear off after the procedure.
Most of the time a prescription is written by your sedation dentist, and you will take the medication prior to your dental appointment to eliminate senses such as pain, smells, and sounds. If there is a need to administer further medication, it can be done in the office by your dentist at the time of your dental procedure.
o Intramuscular Sedation
While it’s not as commonly used as other sedatives in the world of sedation dentistry, it does still have its times where it can work the best for certain situations. You simply get an injection in the muscles located at the top of your arm or the top of your leg, and the sedative takes effect within just 5 minutes.
o IV Sedation
Similar to oral sedation, this type of sedation is able to make the patient feel as if they were asleep during their entire dental appointment. Of course, you will be given this sedative at the office of your sedation dentist via an IV instead of having to take a pill by mouth. This type of sedation happens immediately and is best for dental appointments that don’t take a ton of time.
Expect to feel amnesia after the procedure, and only having the recollection of a few minutes before/after the procedure. When it comes to how much IV sedation costs, the average rate of $300-$350 for the first 30 minutes and $100 for every 15 minutes thereafter is usually charged by a dentist that specializes in sedation dentistry. If an oral sedative is used as well, that usually costs around $150.
Benefits of Going to a Sedation Dentist
You might be wondering why many people tend to embrace sedation dentistry more than they would general dentistry, and it’s for a good reason. We like to think that a general dentist can take care of every dental need we have as well as ensure their oral health is great for the long-term.
However, there are levels of dental anxiety and certain dental procedures that require a more intense form of sedation than a general dentist is capable of offering. Since we are staffed by highly experienced oral surgeons that are able to complete all forms of dental sedation, these limits no longer matter.
Some of the top benefits of sedation dentistry include, but shall not be limited to:
· An elimination of the pain that can be experienced during dental procedures.
This is actually one of the most popular reasons that a person would be sedated during a dental procedure, as comfort is of the utmost importance. While sedation dentistry covers a lot more aspects, some of the most common procedures that it is used include multiple tooth extraction and wisdom teeth extraction.
· Minimizing the feelings often associated with dental anxiety.
One of the biggest targets of sedatives is to make patients relaxed during the procedures where sedation is used. While still providing the dental team with the ability to wake you up if necessary. This is present in both oral sedation as well as other forms of sedation.
· You will feel like your dental appointment only took minutes!
In fact, most of the time a patient will only remember the minutes before and the minutes after a procedure. If you don’t like having someone digging around in your mouth because it makes you feel anxious, then you should give seeing a sedation dentist a second thought.
Financing Options for Sedation Dentistry
For Those with Dental Insurance: Sedation dentistry is often considered a non-essential service, so standard dental plans may not help cover the costs of it. While there are insurance companies that do offer more intensive dental plans, there are still other options available to help cover the cost.
Just like with any other kind of dental procedure, there is always an opportunity to embrace third-party financing to cover the cost of sedation dentistry. The options that you have available to you will depend on your credit score as well as financial standing. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about a down payment and the cost of the procedure can be paid for on a monthly basis.
The two main contenders in financing the costs of visiting a sedation dentist are none other than CareCredit and Lending Club, two of the longest-standing lenders in the business. If you need financing, just let your dentist know when you call to schedule your appointment.
Embrace the Best Sedation Dentist to serve Katy, TX
It’s not just our name (Best Dental), but it’s our way of life. We strive for excellence in everything that we do and ensure that you have the best experience possible during each and every visit. As a sedation dentist, we’re also able to help make dental appoints as comfortable and painless as they can be since we do have the training needed for all levels of sedation.
If you’re ready to embrace the best experience like many already have (based on our growing number of patient reviews that serve as the proof), give our office a call to schedule your appointment. No matter how minor or complex your dental needs may be, we’re a full-service dental office that practices dentistry of all levels.