In this article, we will explore the benefits and effects of sedation dentistry, including the use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, and other medications that help patients relax during dental procedures. A history of anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist is common among all age groups, both adults and children, but sedation dentistry can alleviate these concerns and ensure that patients receive the dental care they need. Sedation dentistry helps patients remain conscious and comfortable, allowing them to smile with ease. Techniques used in sedation dentistry ensure that everything goes smoothly, without causing any adverse effect or amnesia.
Strong, beautiful teeth are essential to overall health and confidence, and one of the best ways to protect them is to visit the dentist for routine checkups and dental care appointments. However, many patients avoid visiting the dentist due to severe anxiety. Dr. Roberto Velasco offers sedation dentistry in Houston, Texas, because they understand the importance of easing dental anxiety and helping patients relax. Their extensive training in administering sedation and their professional dental office, complete with a comforting logo right on the menu of offered services, makes them a trusted choice for those in need of this service. Their cutting-edge knowledge in this vein is invaluable to patients.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Regular cleanings and checkups can be a source of severe anxiety and discomfort for some patients, and this anxiety prevents them from obtaining consistent care to protect their teeth and gums. People who are hesitant to visit the dentist due to fear, high blood pressure, or physical discomfort may be candidates for sedation dentistry. In some cases, nitrous oxide, along with other medications and drugs, can help patients overcome their anxiety, creating a peaceful memory of a painless dental visit under the careful supervision of a qualified doctor.
Dr. Velasco is a compassionate and gentle dentist, and they will always recommend the best sedation option based on the patient’s needs. Patients with mild anxiety or those requiring minor dental work may be prescribed oral sedation like Valium or a relaxing sedative for use before the appointment. This helps reduce the amount of nervousness during routine activities, such as teeth cleanings.
Intravenous (IV) sedation allows the patient to relax in a dreamlike state for procedures like implants, root canals, and extended visits to the office. Our dentists may recommend general anesthesia for patients with extreme anxiety or who need extensive restorative care, like surgery.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is an easy way for anxious patients to maintain basic care like cleanings or extensive reconstructive work while remaining comfortable and relaxed. Sedation dentistry is a good option for anxious or fearful patients who dread and postpone scheduling a dentist appointment. In each case, sedation dentistry is tailored to individual needs and is also helpful for people who:
- Cannot sit still for long
- Have sensitive teeth or gums
- Have an exaggerated gag reflex
- Require extensive dental work
- Have a low threshold for pain
Types of Sedation Dentistry in Houston, TX
Although dental technology has made appointments quicker, easier, and more comfortable than ever before, many patients experience anxiety and are unable to sit comfortably through a dental visit. The fear of visiting the dentist (dentophobia) is a relatively common concern, affecting 9%-20% of US adults. We offer the following sedation dentistry options in Houston, TX, at Uptown Dental based on the treatment being done and the patient’s anxiety level.
The first level of sedation dentistry is an oral medication. Oral sedatives provide an overall sense of relaxation and often help patients overcome dental anxiety. A prescription for Valium or a similar relaxing sedative is prescribed to the patient and taken before the appointment. The patient must have someone drive them to and from the dentist’s office, but they will be conscious and aware throughout the procedure.
General anesthesia may be recommended for complex cases that require a surgical approach or extreme dental anxiety. General anesthesia allows the patient to sleep through the entire procedure. An anesthesiologist is present to monitor the patient continually and ensure their safety until they wake up.
Sedation dentistry is an option for very anxious patients, and different levels of sedation are available. The Uptown Dental staff is very respectful of each patient’s pain tolerance and anxiety levels, offering sedation options only when needed. Sedation dentistry and the calm and soothing environment of our office help many patients overcome their initial fear. As a result, patients can have their dental procedures completed without any complications, paving the way for a healthy oral hygiene routine and a bright smile.
Frequently Asked Sedation Dentistry Questions
Dentistry is an important aspect of any child’s health and well-being. Our dentists will carefully assess a child’s anxiety levels and may recommend sedation dentistry in some cases, especially for those with high anxiety, during difficult times, or where the treatment site is hard to access, ensuring a comfortable experience for the whole family. In addition, various factors play a hand in determining if sedation is the right choice, such as the child’s condition, potential side effects, and even rights as a family member to have a say in their treatment plan.
The sedation used at Uptown Dentistry is approved for children by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry). The team member who administers the sedation and evaluates the patient is fully licensed and has ample experience sedating both children and adults. They follow a precise method, including the appropriate dose, to ensure your child’s safety and comfort during the procedure.
Different types of sedation have certain risks associated with them. The risks are minimal and rare, but our staff will provide you with all the necessary information about these risks, such as dry mouth or minor symptoms. If something unexpected occurs, there is an emergency plan in place, and experienced professionals onsite at Uptown Dental who are ready to handle any situations that may arise. Additionally, it’s crucial to note that changes in your child’s health or medication list might impact the decision to use sedation.
There are different sedation options available, such as oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, or general anesthesia which includes the use of a mask to administer oxygen through inhalation. Your dentist will recommend the right form of sedation based on your anxiety levels and the type of treatment you have scheduled. At this point, it’s essential to discuss any concerns you may have, such as whether you’ll remember anything during the procedure.
Oral conscious sedation will help you feel relaxed, but you will remain aware and responsive to the doctor’s questions or instructions while in the chair during the dental procedure. If intravenous sedation is used, you will relax in a dreamlike state. If general anesthesia is used, you will be asleep during the treatment, with a mask providing oxygen through your mouth and wake up afterward, ready to be driven home.
Each person is different, but hopefully, after overcoming your fears through sedation dentistry a few times, you will no longer be afraid of the dentist or require sedation during every visit. We only recommend sedation when necessary, so if the treatment doesn’t call for sedation and you are not too anxious, we can avoid it altogether!
Sedation dentistry is one of the top ways to help extremely nervous or anxious patients relax during a dental procedure. Some people avoid visiting the dentist altogether because of their fears or due to certain things that make them uncomfortable. If you are afraid of the dentist, sedation dentistry will help you remain calm and comfortable during your visit.
Sedation dentistry is usually recommended for patients with a genuine fear of dental procedures. Still, it is also available for patients who have a strong gag reflex, who don’t respond well to numbing treatments, or who have physical limitations in their neck or jaw. Your dentist will ask about your concerns during a sedation consultation and recommend sedation options that will work for you. Please note that sedation is not recommended during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary.
The price of sedation dentistry varies depending on the type of sedation. The cost of sedation ranges from a few hundred dollars to more than $1000, with the risk of additional fees, as endorsed by the American Dental Association.
Oral sedation typically costs between $200-$300, not including the cost of the dental treatment. Moderate intravenous sedation and general anesthesia are administered by a dental anesthesiologist. The dental team can provide you with an accurate estimate of possible costs, but the sedation charge is separate from the procedure itself.
Uptown Dentistry offers financing options through respected lenders like Care Credit and Healthcare Financing Solutions. The friendly office staff at Uptown Dentistry will be happy to review the costs and payment options with you before scheduling your appointment.
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