Sedation Dentistry

People throughout the United States suffer with dental anxieties and phobias. To some, nervousness about visiting the dentist may be a minor inconvenience but to others, dental phobias can prevent a person from receiving the oral healthcare they need and deserve. If dental fears and phobias are stopping you from receiving regular dental care, our dentists offer sedation dentistry as a solution.

At Tate Family Dentistry, we strive to ensure the utmost in comfort for our patients. Our guests overwhelmingly report positive experiences with our team because our dentists and support staff are patient, compassionate, and dedicated.

Types of Sedation

There are varying levels of sedation in dentistry and each type of sedation has different applications. For example, patients with moderate to severe phobias or those undergoing long or complex treatment will likely benefit from oral sedation whereas patients with phobias receiving a cleaning or filling may benefit best from nitrous oxide.

Oral sedation involves prescription medication normally from the benzodiazepine family of drugs. These medications are developed to target the neurotransmitters that release the chemical reactions that cause anxious and nervous feelings. This medication is normally taken the night before an appointment and about an hour before treatment. Since benzodiazepines like Valium or Ativan impair motor function, patients should arrange for a friend or family member to drive them to and from our practice.

Nitrous oxide is a milder form of sedation dentistry that is administered through a soft nasal mask. A gas, nitrous oxide is fast-acting and wears off quickly. It produces warm and euphoric feelings that have both a pain-relieving and sedative effect. With nitrous oxide, patients can drive home after their appointment because its sedative properties wear off in a few minutes.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry often means that patients who had difficulty controlling their anxiety can receive professional oral care much more comfortably. By combating the chemical reactions that cause panic and anxiousness, our guests will feel relaxed during treatment, and in some cases, will gain more control over their dental phobias in the future.

Our goal at Tate Family Dentistry is to make every patient that visits our practice feel welcome, safe, and comfortable. If you have dental phobias or are prone to anxiety in clinical settings, feel free to voice your concerns with our caring and compassionate staff.

Common Questions

Dental anxiety and phobia is a condition in which a patient’s severe fear of going to the dentist keeps him or her from seeking dental care. In some cases, the dental anxiety may be so extreme that the patient cannot even face the possibility of getting a routine exam or cleaning.

Unfortunately, avoiding this routine care makes it more likely that the patient will experience some sort of urgent or advanced oral disease, which may require a more invasive treatment. That experience then reinforces the dental phobia in a vicious cycle. Our practice specializes in working with anxious patients and uses various techniques to help them get the care they need.

Conscious sedation for dental work involves administering anti-anxiety drugs that help the patient relax enough to receive dental treatment. These medications help the patient achieve a sleep-like state, although the patient is actually awake throughout the procedure. This is an advantage over general anesthesia, which can also be used for fearful patients. With conscious sedation, the patient is able to respond to the dentist’s commands throughout the appointment. Additionally, conscious sedation does not compromise the patient’s airway, so the patient can continue to breathe normally without artificial airway maintenance.

Laughing gas is another name for nitrous oxide, which is a popular sedative used in sedation dentistry. The patient inhales the laughing gas, which achieves the desired effect quite quickly, and enters a deeply relaxed state, reducing the anxiety that could interfere with dental treatment. Another benefit of laughing gas is that its effects are reversed almost instantly as soon as the supply of gas is discontinued. This means that patients who receive laughing gas generally are able to drive themselves home after the appointment without needing a responsible adult to escort them.

The cost of sedation dentistry will vary based on different characteristics unique to the patient as well as expenses related to the particular sedation delivery method. Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans do not offer coverage for this service, but our diligent billing staff will work to maximize any coverage that you may have. We also accept a variety of payment plans for your convenience.