Many people avoid their dental health because of fear of dental treatment. Dr. Sowell is a sedation dentist in Plano, Texas who understands how this can compromise your self-esteem, comfort and systemic health. To help our patients overcome their fears, we have combined dental sedation and laser dentistry along with compassion and TLC to give our patients a comfortable experience they did not think was possible.
Oral sedation blocks the ability to experience fear and anxiety. Laser dentistry delivers quick, quiet treatment without discomfort during or after treatment. Our patients rarely need pain medication after treatment and are always amazed how much easier it was than they thought possible.
Overcoming Dental Phobia With Sedation Dentistry
For most people, the thought of having dental treatment is not on their top ten lists of things to do. Perceptions linger on, but technology and medications have revolutionized patients’ experiences. First we had local anesthetic, then came nitrous oxide, and now we have oral sedation. Today we use all three in combination to make patients’ experiences smooth and pleasant.
Some people have so much anxiety about getting dental care from childhood experiences they remember deep in their subconscious; they avoid it at all costs. They would rather put their hand over their mouth when they smile, not smile or grow a mustache or beard to hide their smile. Often they wait until their teeth are loose and they have lost all their bone support from periodontal disease (gum disease). Now they are looking at dentures or implants to support teeth of some sort. Dentures are psychologically and functionally a disappointment, and dental implants to support a full mouth of teeth is dentistry’s largest investment, sometimes requiring bone and teeth to be replaced.
Oral Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation dentistry does not require an IV, only a couple of pills taken while you relax in a gentle massage chair. The anti-anxiety oral sedation pill is given in the office while the patient relaxes listening and/or watching the program of their choice. Once the patient is totally comfortable and in a “relaxed state,” the local anesthetic is given. Once this takes effect the dental treatment is started. Nitrous oxide is used to supplement the oral sedation if needed.
Vital signs are continuously monitored by a sophisticated medical instrument called a pulse-oximeter as directed by Dr. Sowell’s license for oral sedation as a sedation dentist from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. Most people tend to sleep lightly through the appointment. Because they are so comfortable, their smiles can be transformed without numerous dental visits. This saves busy people time and offers them immediate results, especially with cosmetic sedation dentistry.
One hour before the appointment is over, we call the patient’s trusted guardian to come pick them up. When the visit is over, we give the patient a cup of juice or a protein shake, depending on their preferences, with a warm face cloth to help them wake up much, like a first-class flight overseas before you land. Patients usually remember very little about their visit and since they experience no anxiety during treatment, they are much more refreshed once the sedation wears off.
Typically, high blood pressure patients, for example, will run 0-20 points below their normal resting blood pressure throughout treatment, indicating their relaxed state during treatment. On top of that, when they go home, they have their smile and/or health rejuvenated without any stressful memories. Because of the anti-anxiety effects of oral sedation, it is an excellent way for older medically compromised patients to receive treatment. It prevents them from experiencing stress and anxiety, thus keeping their blood pressure low and heart healthy. Eliminating stress is always a good thing. Finally, we can offer major dental transformation in a comfortable stress-free environment.
IV Sedation Dentistry
IV sedation is another option. The benefit of IV sedation is that the same class of anti-anxiety drug can be administered into the bloodstream, resulting in almost instantaneous effects. Not all people react the same to a standard dosage of a drug. For 80% of the population, we can expect predictable results with oral sedation and they will be very comfortable.
Twenty percent of the population will not be sedated as much as hoped, particularly people who use alcohol or particular prescription drugs regularly. With IV sedation, a doctor can quickly see the effect of the drug on the patient and give more drugs to the patient if needed. Dr. Sowell has been providing oral sedation for his patients for 20 years, and for 80% of the population oral sedation is a great way to have major dental treatment with minimal side effects. For those patients who require IV sedation, we have an excellent dental anesthesiologist come to our office.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
Is sedation dentistry covered by dental insurance?
Not for most patients. It may be covered in part by your insurance provider, but most of the time it’s not. Contact your dental insurance provider for more up-to-date information regarding your insurance benefits.
Can you request to be sedated at the dentist?
Yes. If your dentist provides dental sedation options, you can request it. Never hesitate to ask your dentist if sedation options are right for you. We are here to help, not judge.
Is IV sedation covered by insurance?
Not usually. It may be covered for older patients and patients with disabilities. The best way to find out if sedation dentistry is covered by your insurance is to contact your provider directly.
Do you feel pain with sedation dentistry?
No. The effect of pain is removed with sedation dentistry. Your dentist will do a quick test to see if you are fully sedated before starting any treatments.
How long does IV sedation take to work?
IV sedation takes immediate effect. As soon as the medication reaches your bloodstream, you start to feel relaxed and in a state of bliss.
How long does it take IV sedation to wear off?
IV sedation usually wears off almost immediately. Once the anesthesiologist has stopped administering the fluids, you will regain normal function. Although, you may not remember what just happened.
Do you fall asleep with IV sedation?
No, IV sedation does not put you to sleep. IV sedation keeps you conscious during your dental procedure, but prevents you from feeling pain and discomfort.
What can I expect after sedation dentistry?
You will be given some time to come out of sedation after your dental procedure. The drugs used to sedate you may linger for a few hours, but you should return to normal the same day.
Is sedation the same as local anesthesia?
No. Sedation should not be used in place of local anesthesia. Dental sedation is different, as it’s used to relax your body and mind. Local anesthesia is used to negate the effects of pain in a centralized area.
What does it feel like to be under sedation?
When you are under sedation, you may feel groggy, happy, relaxed, giggly, and desensitized. Everyone experiences sedation differently, but the symptoms do not linger all day.
How long does conscious sedation stay in your system?
Conscious sedation usually lingers for about two hours. This is why we require that you have reliable transportation to-and-from your dental appointment.
Does sedation mean I’m getting put to sleep?
No. The types of sedation provided by the dentist should not put you to sleep. You remain conscious, but are completely relaxed throughout being sedated.