Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is perfect for those who experience an overwhelming sense of panic and anxiety when going to the dentist. In addition, many people simply would rather “not be there” while we do their dental treatment. Any type of procedure you need can often be done under sedation in a relaxing and comfortable manner. You should have very little memory of your appointment and wake up refreshed and feeling good.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a type of procedure that involves providing medicine to help patients feel at-ease during their dental appointments. Dr. Rutherford uses oral conscious sedation at The Art of Dentistry, which is a moderate form of sedation that involves taking a pill that is prescribed to them. This helps patients feel extremely relaxed as Dr. Rutherford performs their restorative or cosmetic dentistry procedure. Some individuals even fall asleep during their treatment.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

For oral conscious sedation dentistry, you will be given a pill to take long-before the procedure. By the time you arrive for the appointment, you will be drowsy and in a very relaxed state of mind. During the procedure, no IV needles will be needed and your vital signs will be monitored. Most patients tend to sleep during the treatment, though they can respond to given questions or requests. When the treatment is complete, you will go home and “sleep it off” and have little or no memory of the appointment. Call us for a free brochure and audio CD explaining more about oral conscious sedation.

What Are The Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry allows for faster treatment because in most cases all your needs can be taken care of in as little as one visit. This is far better than having to take off work many, many times to have only one or two things done at each visit. This solves both the fear and the time problems for most people. Ultimately, sedation dentistry places patients into an extremely relaxed state that calms both the body and mind. Although patients can freely communicate with the dentist during their procedure, many people drift off during treatment and do not remember the details of their experience. With oral conscious sedation, patients can put their fears of the dentist behind them, take care of their oral health, and maintain a beautiful smile.

Am I A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?

Ideal candidates for sedation dentistry typically share one or more of the following qualities:

  • Severe dental anxiety
  • Prior negative experiences with dentists
  • Fear of needles or dental instruments
  • Nervousness at the sounds of a dentist’s office
  • Sensitive teeth
  • An easily triggered gag reflex

Many candidates for sedation dentistry have complicated dental issues at advanced stages due to avoiding necessary dental work. When fear of the dentist prevents you from receiving the care you need, more complex and costly oral health problems are likely to develop. Conversely, sedation dentistry allows patients with dental anxiety to receive prompt treatment and maintain good oral health. Sedation dentistry can also be useful for patients who wish to address a larger number of cosmetic concerns with a smile makeover, as oftentimes the dentist can complete more dental work in a single office visit.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Differ From General Anesthesia?

Unlike a hospital operation under general anesthesia with its risks, sedation dentistry allows you to remain awake but in a deep state of relaxation. With oral conscious sedation, patients can speak to the dentist and respond. However, many patients will be so relaxed that they will doze off. This makes it possible to experience your dental procedure with no pain and little or no memory of the appointment.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Sedation dentistry is used under the supervision of our experienced cosmetic dentist. Dr. Rutherford has extensive training in sedation dentistry techniques to give our patients peace of mind that they are in good hands. During the consultation process, Dr. Rutherford will review your medical history, discuss your concerns and expectations, and make sure sedation dentistry is the best choice for you. If you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry, your vital signs will be carefully monitored by a skilled associate during your procedure to ensure your safety.

Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Sedation Dentistry?

Oral conscious sedation typically has minimal side effects, all of which should quickly fade as the medication wears off. After taking the pill, you will begin to feel drowsy. During your treatment, you will be so relaxed that you may not even remember your appointment. As the pill’s effect gradually subsides, you may experience temporary side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, and nausea, though this is not always the case.

Will Someone Need To Accompany Me If I Get Sedation Dentistry?

Yes, due to the sedative effects of the medication, you will need someone to drive you to and from the office, and stay with you for the remainder of that evening. The following day, however, you should be completely back to normal and can resume your everyday activities.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

The cost of sedation dentistry will vary based on the dentist, the practice’s geographic location, the type of sedation being provided, and the patient’s insurance coverage. On average, oral conscious sedation tends to begin at $225. Our staff will provide you with a personalized cost quote prior to your procedure to help you plan for your total cost. Although sedation dentistry is an additional fee to the planned dental treatment, patients usually find this cost to be more than worth the peace of mind it offers them as they receive the dental care they need.

Who Should Perform Sedation Dentistry?

An experienced dentist with proper training in sedation dentistry should perform these treatments. A major qualification includes fellowship with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, an honor achieved by less than 2% of sedation dentists. Dr. Rutherford has achieved this recognition, making him exceptionally qualified to both perform oral conscious sedation dentistry and mentor other dental professionals in sedation techniques.

Additional questions you can ask a dentist to learn more about their background and experience include:

What Treatments Can Be Complemented with Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can be used in conjunction with multiple dental procedures that may require more intensive work or involve more time-consuming treatment. With that in mind, ideal candidates for sedation dentistry techniques may request those options for just about any type of dental care if they need some help to overcome dental anxiety. Some of the more complex dental treatments for which sedation dentistry is often utilized include:

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Sedation Dentistry

How Long Will I Be Under Sedation?

This depends on what you’re having done that day. You’ll be sedated for as long as it takes us to complete everything we’ve planned to do for you. Usually it takes between two and six hours.

Will I fall asleep during sedation dentistry?

Patients tend to reach such a calm physical and mental state during oral conscious sedation that it is possible to fall asleep during the treatment. Many individuals remain so relaxed and comfortable they oftentimes have little to no memory after their appointment.

What does dental sedation feel like?

The oral conscious sedation method used at our practice helps ease patients during treatment by creating what some may describe as a “dream-like” state. Patients should feel extremely tranquil, virtually without any awareness of painful sensations or discomfort. Despite drowsiness, patients will still be able to respond to questions or requests at any given time and will be closely monitored throughout their visit to ensure proper safety standards.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?

Oral conscious sedation is not typically covered under dental insurance policies; however, there may be exceptions in some cases. Our staff is available to review your benefits with you and discuss any available options with your insurance provider. The Art of Dentistry also works with CareCredit®, a third-party financing company that can help qualified patients receive the care they need with monthly payments, low interest rates, and extended payment plans.

Is sedation dentistry worth it?

If fears of dental work or even just being at a dentist’s office are keeping you from maintaining proper oral health or fixing dental issues, then sedation dentistry will very likely be worth it for you. This can be especially true for patients who may have had an unpleasant experience with dental treatment in the past. At The Art of Dentistry, our goal for each sedation dentistry patient is to calm any fears or anxieties before, during, and after their visit. For added peace of mind, patients can rest in good hands knowing Dr. Rutherford has been granted Fellowship in the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. This is a distinction held by less than 2% of dentists and is indicative of his extensive education and experience in sedation dentistry.

How Can I Learn More About Sedation Dentistry?

To learn more about oral conscious sedation and find out if it is right for you, contact Dr. Rutherford here at The Art of Dentistry or click here to visit the website of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), which trains dentists nationwide and internationally to provide this for their patients.