Types of Dental Sedation

The Types of Dental Sedation

Do you feel anxious about having dental work done? You are not alone – about 36 percent of all people experience some level of dental fear or anxiety, and about 12 percent have an extreme fear about going to the dentist. Fortunately, our dentist in Bolingbrook offers sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, to help you feel more comfortable during dental procedures.

Dental sedation is beneficial for anyone with dental anxiety; it is also helpful for those undergoing a lengthy dental treatment, such as a root canal or dental implants.

Not every dentist can offer all types of dental sedation. In fact, dentists must undergo extra training and hold a special certification before they can provide some forms of sedation dentistry. Before you undergo a dental procedure, consult with your dentist to determine if dental sedation is right for you.

Types of Dental Sedation

There are several types of dental sedation, and each provides a different level of sedation to fit almost every need.

Nitrous oxide

Also known as “laughing gas” nitrous oxide is a gas that you inhale through a mask or nosepiece. Nitrous oxide slows down your nervous system to help you feel less inhibited and anxious. You should expect to feel calm and comfortable; you might feel a little lightheaded and you may even giggle! You can expect to feel the calming effects of nitrous oxide within three to five minutes. You’ll be awake, able to ask and answer questions, and remember your dental experience.

Our dentist controls the amount of sedation you receive, and will adjust the dosage throughout the procedure to provide the right amount of relaxation. Once our dentist has completed the treatment, we’ll administer pure oxygen to flush the laughing gas from your system. Because the nitrous oxide leaves your system quickly, you can drive yourself home from our office.

Oral conscious sedation

As its name suggests, oral conscious sedation involves swallowing a sedative medication. The sedative usually comes in pill form but is sometimes provided as a liquid, such as midazolam oral syrup, to pediatric patients. Most dentists use a form of Valium® known as Halcion®, but they may use other medications, such as zaleplon and lorazepam.

You’ll take oral conscious sedation about an hour before your dental procedure begins – we’ll provide you with complete instructions on how and when to take this medication. You can expect to feel quite groggy and you might even fall asleep, but you’ll still awaken with a gentle nudge and be able to communicate with your dentist if needed. Oral sedation temporarily affects your motor skills and memory, so you’ll need to have a friend or family member drive you home. Your memory of the dental procedure may be foggy.

Intravenous sedation

Dentists can perform intravenous (IV) sedation to provide the deepest level of conscious sedation in a dental office setting. IV sedation involves the delivery of sedative medications directly into your bloodstream through an IV line insert into a blood vessel in your arm. Your dental team closely monitors your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels throughout your sedation, and adjusts the dosage at any point for optimal results. Your dental professionals can also administer reversal medications that reverse the effects of the sedative medications quickly, if needed.

Most patients who receive IV sedation fall asleep. When they wake up, most will have little to no memory of their treatment. IV sedation may be right for you if you have severe dental anxiety or if you have to undergo a lengthy dental procedure.

IV sedation leaves you feeling quite drowsy for a couple of hours following the procedure, so you will need a friend or family member to drive you home. Plan on getting plenty of rest after receiving IV sedation, as it may take 24 to 48 hours for the sedative medication to leave your system.

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is a type of unconscious sedation, which means you will be completely asleep for the procedure. Only hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers administer general anesthesia for dentistry.

Dental Sedation Cost

The cost of dental sedation depends on a number of factors, such as the type of sedation you undergo and the amount of sedation you need. Nitrous oxide can cost anywhere between $25 and $100 or more, for example. The cost of oral sedation ranges between $150 to $500 or more, while sleep dentistry can cost $250 to $900 or more, but it typically costs $500 to $700.

Is there a sedation dentist near me?

Yes! At 311 Dental, our dentist in Bolingbrook offers sedation dentistry to keep you comfortable through nearly any dental procedure. We understand that everyone – even the bravest – can feel a little anxious when it comes to having dental work done. Contact 311 Dental to learn more about sedation dentistry, and to determine if it is right for you.