Sedation FAQs Downey, CA

It’s not uncommon for our new patients to have not been to a dentist in years. Sometimes this happens because of a fear of the dentist. At Downey Dental Arts, we want you to feel safe and secure while visiting the dentist. Our team is here to help you feel comfortable and relaxed while visiting the dentist. We accomplish this with our friendly staff, gentle approach, and sedation options.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation or "sleep dentistry" is a way to calm and relax patients during dental procedures. It also alleviates pain. Dental sedation can also completely put a patient to sleep, so they are not aware or conscious during extensive dental procedures such as surgeries. Dental sedation is an excellent option for patients (including children) in Southern California who experience dental anxiety.

What Are the Qualifications for a Sedation Dentist?

The dentists at Downey Dental Arts have met and/or exceeded all state qualifications as a dentist using sedation techniques. Our dental team has undergone special training to handle and administer dental sedation techniques properly.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

With sedation dentistry, we can perform many dental treatments and procedures we might not be able to do otherwise due to the pain, anxiety, and/or discomfort involved. For anxious kids and adults, sedation dentistry can be a lifesaver.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is typically used for people who experience a great deal of anxiety and fear when going to the dentist. We also use it for patients who simply need pain relief during dental treatment. Additionally, some patients have an overactive gag reflex, and dental sedation can be a huge help in these cases.

Certain conditions are contraindicated for dental sedation, including benzodiazepine allergies, sleep apnea, and pregnancy. We will go over your entire medical history to make sure dental sedation is right for you.

What Can I Expect Under Dental Sedation?

Different types of dental sedation will create different kinds of effects. For example, nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) can make people feel euphoric and relaxed. Oral medication may make you feel drowsy, less anxious, and sometimes a little "loopy." Unconscious sedation will completely put you to sleep, so you won't remember the dental procedure.

What Is Conscious Dental Sedation?

Conscious sedation allows us to help you feel less pain and anxiety while keeping you awake. We can administer this sedation via pills as well as nitrous oxide gas. Topical local anesthesia is also used to numb the gums and teeth sometimes. For routine teeth cleanings and other common procedures, conscious sedation is often a good choice.

What Is Twilight Dental Sedation?

Sometimes we need our patients to be able to answer questions, but they don’t need to be totally conscious. That is when twilight sedation is necessary, where you are in a twilight dream state. You’ll be relaxed and at ease. After the dental procedure, you may not remember much of what happened. Nitrous oxide or an IV can be used for twilight sedation.

What Is Unconscious Dental Sedation?

Unconscious sedation is often accomplished via general anesthesia, and you will not be conscious at all during the dental procedure. This is usually used for dental surgeries but can sometimes help in cases where patients have severe anxiety disorders.

What Is General Anesthesia Used for?

General anesthesia is used for unconscious dental sedation. General anesthesia offers a deep level of unconscious sedation and anesthesia. This is often a good option for patients with autism, serious phobias or anxiety disorders, hyperactive gag reflexes, and other medical conditions.

What Is IV Sedation?

IV sedation is dental sedation that is administered via the vein, giving us precise control of the sedation dosage.

What Is Oral Sedation?

We deliver oral sedation by mouth via a pill or a liquid. Different levels of sedation can be achieved based on dosage. Oral sedation can make you feel relaxed and sleepy, and often you won’t remember much after the procedure.

What Is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) is a special type of sedation tool that you breathe in through a mask. This fast-acting sedation only works while you are breathing it in, and it wears off quickly.

What Does Dental Sedation in Downey Cost?

Dental sedation costs will be different depending on the sedation option needed. In many cases, sedation is included in the cost of the dental procedure. IV sedation may cost a few hundred dollars or more. Dental insurance can sometimes cover some or all of dental sedation costs. Our team at Downey Dental Arts would be happy to go over potential dental sedation costs with you.

Questions About Sedation Dentisry
What Types of Sedation are Used in Sedation Dentistry?
There are three basic types of sedation dentistry: conscious, twilight, and unconscious sedation.

Conscious Sedation

involves low doses of non-sleep-inducing medications, including local anesthetic to numb pain, oral tablets, and nitrous oxide. These sedation techniques are used for mild dental work, reducing anxiety, and numbing pain.

Twilight Sedation

is the second form of sedation. This form leaves patients conscious but extremely sleepy and relaxed. This form is usually administered via IV or nitrous oxide and is used for mid-level procedures.

Unconscious Sedation

is the final form of sedation, also known as general anesthesia. This is administered via a breathing mask or IV and used for intensive dental surgery or patients who are resistant to other types of sedation.

Which Form Of Sedation Is The Most Common In Dentistry?
Oral sedation in the form of tablets or nitrous oxide is the most common form of sedation used in procedures. The type of procedure a patient is having will determine what level of sedation is required, which will, in turn, determine what form it will come in.
What Kind of Medication is Administered for Dental Sedation?

There are several medication options that can be used for dental sedation. Most will be within a class of medication called benzodiazepines. Oral tablets will likely be Diazepam or Triazolam. Shots would generally be Midazolam, while IV medications are usually Midazolam or Propofol.

Other medications in sedation include nitrous oxide, a gas sometimes referred to as laughing gas.

How Does Oral Sedation Work?

There are two forms of oral sedation. If you are taking a tablet, you will simply swallow the tablet with water and wait for the effects to kick in.

The other form of oral sedation is nitrous oxide, which is administered through a hose that pumps the gas into the mouth and/or nose cover.

Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Sedation?

Every dental insurance plan provides different benefits. You should contact your insurance provider to understand what procedures are covered and at what percentage.

Does Dental Sedation Make You Fall Asleep?

Conscious sedation will not cause you to fall asleep. Unconscious sedation will cause you to grow unconscious once the medicine takes effect.

Questions About Sedation Dentisry
Will I Still Feel Any Pain While Under Sedation?

Local anesthetics are used to numb pain, while sedatives will lower your awareness of any additional pain that could arise during dental procedures. You will most likely feel little to no pain and will actually feel relaxed and comfortable before, during, and after your procedure(s).

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Sedation dentistry is safe for the majority of patients. There may be mild side effects for some patients. There are, however, always some risks with any kind of medical procedure, including dental work. Your medical history should be discussed with your dentist.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe For Children?

Dental sedation is safe for both children and adults. In fact, it is often administered to children to help with their anxiety and fear during dental visits.

What Are the Side Effects of Dental Sedation?

One of the primary side effects of dental sedation is actually intentional: temporary mild amnesia effects. Another postoperative effect is reduced soreness in the treated and surrounding areas.

On rare occasions, patients may experience nausea from nitrous oxide or hiccups from various forms of sedation. Other side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slow reflexes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • A feeling of "being sick"
  • Feeling heavy or sluggish
What is the Recovery Time After Sedation?

Recovery time for every patient is different, but for most conscious sedation applications, recovery is fairly quick. Most patients are alert shortly after their procedure. However, you will need someone to drive you home, and you should not drive or operate heavy machinery or make important decisions for 24 hours after your procedure.

Do I Need to Prepare for a Sedation Visit?

For nitrous oxide, you do not need to prepare apart from arranging for a driver (not an Uber, taxi, or other forms of shared or public transit). If you are having oral or IV sedation, however, you may receive a prescription for a sedative to take the night before your appointment. You will also receive a complete list of pre-treatment instructions.

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