Do you experience anxiety when thinking of visiting the dentist? Have has this dental anxiety forced you to avoid treatment? You are in luck! You no longer need to let dental anxiety stand in the way of your oral health.
At El Dorado Family Dental, we have helped patients just like you overcome their dental anxiety through a combination of local anesthesia and sedation dentistry options. Many patients feel relief from analgesics like xylocaine or lidocaine which are used to temporarily numb the gums and teeth when applied to the surface or injected to the area needing treatment. However, for many of our patients who experience a higher level of anxiety, we are happy to offer sedation options that provide a higher level of relief.
When you are ready to learn more about the sedation options available to help relieve anxiety and get the dental treatment you need, we are here to help. Our friendly dental staff will answer all your questions and concerns, explain all the sedation options available to you and review your medical history to see if you are a good candidate. Schedule an appointment today or continue reading to learn more about sedation dentistry and the options available to you.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, also referred to as sleep dentistry, is the process of using various forms of sedatives to make a patient calmer and relaxed during various dental treatments. Depending on the treatment and delivery method selected, sedative drugs (tranquillizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications, nitrous oxide and others) are administered through an oral pill, IV, or a gas mixture.
When administered by a trained dental professional, sedation dentistry can be a very valuable tool to help patients receive the oral health care they need. At El Dorado Family Dental, our experienced and knowledgeable staff have been able to provide patients with both General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry treatments they may have avoided with the use of conscious oral sedation.
“I let my dental care slide because of my dental phobia. My friend told me about sleep dentistry and how it helped him get back to the dentist. Dr. Albik explained how conscious sedation worked and I was finally able to get a root canal I had been avoiding for 6 months. I know am able to make regular dental visits thanks to their great oral care!”
– Michelle W. Folsom, CA
Sedation Dentistry Provides Relief and Comfort
Unfortunately, simply avoiding the dentist because of anxiety will not make any oral health issues go away. Even with the best home oral care, common dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, or impacted wisdom teeth will continue to get worse with time.
Rest assured if dental anxiety has caused you to avoid even Regular Dental Visits, you are not alone. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS Education) some form of dental anxiety or phobia affects 15-30% of the population. Thankfully advancements in dental treatments and sedation options, can help overcome your fears by putting you in a more comfortable and relaxed state.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?
While dental anxiety is one of the leading reasons for seeking a sedation option, there are many other reasons you may want to consider this treatment including:
- Phobias related to medical or dental procedures
- Negative experiences with previous dental work
- Overly sensitive oral nerves
- Natural resistance to traditional local anesthetic options
As with any medical treatment, you should discuss your medical history and any allergies to medications with your dentist and primary care physician before considering treatment.
There are three common types of sedation options used in dentistry, including:
Nitrous Oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas,” is the mildest form of sedation used in dentistry. With this option, a mask is fit over your nose then a safe and effective sedative agent mixed with oxygen is fed through the mask and inhaled. Nitrous Oxide sedation is not currently offered at our dental office.
Conscious Oral Sedation
Conscious Oral Sedation is a very safe and mild form of sedation. Oral sedation can be used to make patients feel more comfortable for virtually any dental treatment. Prior to your appointment, Dr. Albik will prescribe the medication and direct you to take one pill the night before treatment and then once again an hour before treatment. This allow the medication the necessary time to fully take effect before the treatment. With this mild sedative you are able to feel calm and relaxed during the dental procedure while remaining conscious. This is why some patients call it sleep dentistry. Due to the effects of oral sedation, you are required to have a friend or family member drive you to and from your appointment. Benefits of oral sedation include:
- Less invasive than IV Sedation option which may require intravenous injections and assisted breathing.
- Faster recovery times than deeper sedation options.
- Lower costs than other sedation options.
IV, or Intravenous Sedation, can be an effective sedation options for patients who experience severe anxiety or are receiving a more evasive dental procedure. Like conscious oral sedation, IV sedation uses anti-anxiety medications to calm and relax patients. The main difference is rather than taken orally, the medication is administered through an IV directly into the bloodstream. While many patients may have heard this option referred to as “sleep” or “twilight” dentistry, the truth is you remain awake and responsive during the whole procedure. However, due to the effects of the medication, you will likely not remember any of the treatment once the medication wears off. To ensure your safety at all times, your pulse and oxygen levels are closely monitored during the treatment.
While there are many benefits for patients, IV sedation is generally only suggested when other options do not provide the necessary results. As with oral sedation, you must have an adult with you to drive you home after the treatment due to the effects of the medication. It is also recommended that the adult stay with you until the medication has completely worn off for your safety.
We are very excited to announce that IV Sedation will be available at El Dorado Family Dental in 2019.
Schedule an Appointment Today to Learn What Type of Sedation Dentistry is Right for You!
“Thanks to sleep dentistry at El Dorado Family Dental I was able to actually get in the dentist chair and have my wisdom teeth removed. Without it, who know what kind of damage they would have done!”
– Nick G. El Dorado Hills, CA
Sedation Dentistry Cost
The cost of a sedation treatment can vary depending on the type of sedation dentistry used and how it is administered. In some situations, your Dental Insurance may cover all or part of your sedation treatment, however this in not common. Our friendly treatment coordinators can review your dental benefits with you to see what coverages you may have.
For our patients will no dental insurance or high copays, we offer affordable financing options through our partnership with CareCredit. Appling for CareCredit is a simple process we can easily help guide you through.
Don’t let dental anxiety and phobias stand in the way of your oral health! Our friendly dental staff is here to provide you with the dental treatment you need in our calm and relaxing dental office. Enjoy the peace of mind that Dr. Albik has helped many patients just like you overcome their anxiety and fears with safe and effective sedation options. Schedule your appointment today to see how we can help you!