Answering All Your Sedation Dentistry Questions

Visiting the dentist is an important part of your oral health, but many people struggle with dental-induced anxiety. They may be too afraid to visit the dentist or feel miserable during the entire visit. Luckily, sedation dentistry can help. If you would like to know more, keep reading. 

What Types of Sedation Are Available?

The most common type of sedation you'll find at the dentist's office is inhalation sedation, otherwise known as "laughing gas." The dentist mixes nitrous oxide gas with clean oxygen. This can make you feel lightheaded and tingly. You may also be less aware of your body and what is happening, which allows your body and mind to relax.

Oral sedation is another alternative, but it can also be used in conjunction with nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, you are prescribed a pill (usually Valium or something similar) to take before your appointment, so you are relaxed and calm.

Finally, you can choose awake IV sedation. This type of sedation uses an IV to administer the sedative. It is incredibly strong and can cause many people to fall asleep. This type of sedation and oral sedation will continue to affect you after treatment, so you'll need a ride home. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off once you stop inhaling it.

How Much Does Sedation Cost?

The cost of sedation depends on what type of sedation you're choosing and your insurance policy. Some policies, for example, cover nitrous oxide, so you may not have to pay anything. On average, however, inhalation sedation costs $25 to $100. Oral sedation may cost about $150 to $500, but the price can largely depend on the type of medication and whether or not it is generic or name brand. Finally, IV sedation costs about $250 to $900.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Sedation?

You are a good candidate for sedation dentistry if you experience anxiety or stress regarding the dentist. Some people may even avoid the dentist because of their anxiety. This can allow tartar to build and small cavities to turn into big infections.

Regardless of which sedation you choose, you'll feel less aware during the procedure and have little to no memory of the appointment. You will still be able to respond to the dentist and follow instructions.

Some people are not good candidates for sedation, or they may not be good candidates for some types of sedation. For example, if you struggle to breathe through your nose, inhalation sedation may not be effective. If you have a respiratory disease, oral sedation may slow your breathing too much. If you have sleep apnea, you should avoid IV sedation.

If your dental anxiety causes you to avoid the dentist, it's time to consider sedation dentistry. With sedatives, you can feel more comfortable in the dentist's chair. To learn more, contact a dentist in your area who offers sedation dentistry.