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We understand that some of our patients are reluctant to have dental work done, even if it’s necessary, because they fear pain or gagging. They will wait till the pain is unbearable before calling us. If this sounds like you, you are not alone. According to an article in the Dental Research Journal, close to 60 percent of the adult population has some degree of dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry in Gainesville may be just what you need to turn an anxiety-inducing experience into one that is relaxing.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

While it’s often referred to as sleep dentistry, sedation does not put patients fast asleep, unless it is general anesthesia. Sedation relaxes patients with dental anxiety so they can have a variety of procedures from teeth cleanings to root canals. Patients are generally awake, but since they receive a local anesthetic to numb the site, they may drift off into a light sleep. With sedation, patients usually respond to the dentist’s instructions, such as opening wide.

How Much Will Sedation Dentistry Cost?

Your cost depends on the type of sedation your dentist uses and the length of the procedure. Check with your dental insurance company to see if you have sedation dentistry insurance coverage. Your dentist can advise of your estimated cost before your procedure.

When Does Dental Insurance Pay the Sedation Dentistry Cost?

Insurance companies typically don’t cover sedation for dental treatment unless it is medically necessary. Sleep dentistry is often covered more than other types of sedation as it may be necessary for you to be unconscious during a major, lengthy procedure. Check with your insurance company first to verify coverage. If you’re uncertain about your coverage after talking to them, our staff can help you decipher your policy.

What Are the Different Types of Sedation Dentistry?

We offer a variety of sedation dentistry options, including:

Inhaled Minimal Sedation: Nitrous oxide (N2O], commonly known as laughing gas, is a safe way to relieve anxiety. It’s even safe enough for children. You breathe the gas and oxygen combination through a mask you wear over your nose. It produces a relaxing feeling, but you don’t necessarily laugh.

Oral Sedation: Oral sedation dentistry is very common. There are no needles, which many of our patients appreciate. Patients take a pill about one hour before their procedure. Typically, dentists administer Halcion, triazolam or another benzodiazepine. You’ll feel drowsy and foggy. You may fall asleep, but awaken easily. Don’t expect to remember much of the procedure.

IV Sedation: With IV sedation dentistry, your dentist will administer a sedative intravenously. Your dentist can adjust your sedation level quickly, something not possible with oral sedation. IV sedation dentistry is ideal for patients with severe anxiety at the thought of having a dental procedure.

Sleep Dentistry: If your dentist uses general anesthesia, you won’t wake during the procedure, even in response to pain. You will wake on your own when the anesthesia wears off or your dentist can reverse the effects with medication. It’s usually only used on patients who are having complex procedures, like wisdom tooth removal, that require them to stay perfectly still.

Why Should I Consider Sedation Dentistry in Gainesville?

Avoiding necessary dental work because of anxiety can make the problem worse and eventually may lead to tooth loss. Sedation also keeps you from gagging. Many patients also lose all sense of time. The procedure could take an hour, but it will feel like it only took a minute or two.

How Long Will Sedation for Dental Treatment Last?

Laughing gas wears off very quickly once your dentist removes the mask. If less than five minutes, you can safely drive home. You can’t drive to your dental appointment or back home after the procedure with oral sedation dentistry. It can take a full 24 hours before the effects wear off, although it’s often sooner. The effects of IV sedation dentistry wear off faster than oral sedation. You should still use caution and have someone drive you home and stay with you for a few hours. Sleep dentistry with general anesthesia also requires a friend or family member to drive you home. You need to remain cautious for 24 hours afterward, not driving or operating heavy machinery.

Our dentists tailor our sedation dentistry services to meet your unique needs. We’ll ask you about your fears and phobias and the severity of each. This allows us to choose the minimum amount of sedation while keeping you calm and relaxed. Please call us if you want to see a dentist but anxiety has been holding you back. We understand and we will explain your options to help you feel comfortable getting the care you need to restore your oral health.

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