Sedation Dentistry: Things to Expect

Sedation dentistry is process that involves the use of sedative drugs or medications that will help calm and ease the patient for procedures that usually scare most people off. Most patients associate a visit to the dentist as a painful and fearful experience, which is why the use of these drugs can be very helpful. Some patients will not remember some instances during deep sedation while others will feel more relieved and relaxed for the process. Sedation dentistry is also regulated and observed by other bodies for patient safety.

Getting to Know Sedation

Sedation is defined as the process of relaxing or easing a patient via the use of sedative medications. Sedative drugs include nitrous oxide, tranquilizers, depressants and anti-anxiety medications, which can be given in different ways such as through IV injection, nitrous oxide inhalation or oral medication. Canada and the United States have made oral sedation dentistry highly popular because it solves the problem for people who are afraid of needles. The level of sedation will differ depending on the patient and the type of procedure to be done. Sedation may be minimal, moderate or deep. In some cases, a local anesthetic can be administered to block the pain impulses from the gum tissue and teeth. It's best to have someone accompany you for the procedure and drive you home afterwards. The patient should be monitored before, during and after dental treatment.

Known Advantages

One of the biggest advantages of sedation dentistry is giving individuals the feeling that the dental process only lasts a few minutes because of the absence of pain and discomfort. Even when the process takes hours to complete, some patients will find the experience very enjoyable and worry-free, thereby allowing them to go back to the dentist without any fears. More sophisticated dental techniques like extensive rebuilding processes, will need more than one visit, so patients will be more prepared to go back as necessary.

People who also have recurrent problems with their teeth or mouth will take care of these more, knowing that visits can still be scary regardless of the available techniques and technologies. Oral health will be neglected less by people as their understanding of oral health and hygiene improves.

The Difference from Sleep Dentistry

Sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry are two different approaches. During sedation dentistry, patients do not sleep but are placed in a very calm and relaxing state. They might even forget some parts of the process, but they are nevertheless active and responsive, except for deep sedation. You are kept awake throughout the procedure and will feel very relaxed. If the dentist uses general or local anesthesia, the process will no longer be considered sedation dentistry.

On Insurance

Some patients ask if insurance coverage includes sedation dentistry. According to the governing bodies and DOCS education, insurance agencies will not cover sedation, although a number of non-intravenous sedation process codes can still apply to the treatment. Patients who go through periodontal scaling and root planning of the mouth's four quadrants might be covered by insurance companies as soon as these are finished in a single visit, provided that the patient is sedated, compared to asking the patient to go for 3 to 4 separate dental appointments.

Reading the Document

Before you go for any type of dental procedure, know what type of medications will be administered. Most dental clinics will ask you to sign a document or waiver before the procedure. Make sure you read between the lines and get to know all the inclusions and costs to avoid problems later on. Feel free to ask your dentist about concerns and other possible effects and risks to determine the full extent and coverage of the approach.

Shamblott Family Dentistry is an Eden Prairie Dentist serving the Twin Cities Metro Area.

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