Sedation DentistryDoes the mere thought of seeing a dentist make you feel anxious and fearful? Would you rather put up with dental pain than set foot in the dental office? You are not alone. In fact, it’s estimated at least 15% of people in the United States suffer from dental fears and anxiety and will do anything to delay or avoid dental treatment.

Why Do People Feel Anxiety?

People experience dental anxiety for a variety of reasons. Dental fears can be passed on by parents or siblings who may have had bad experiences in the dental chair. Sometimes people feel fearful of dental injections or are worried a procedure might be painful. The sights sounds and smells in a dental office can prove too much for others. Whatever the reason for your dental anxiety, sedation dentistry is one way to manage it. The level of sedation is adjusted to suit individual needs.

Why Choose Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses sedatives to ensure people feel relaxed while receiving dental treatment. You might also hear sedation dentistry being referred to as sleep dentistry which is a bit misleading. Depending on the level of sedation provided, you may feel relaxed enough to drop off to sleep, but even so, you can still easily be awakened by the dental team, and you will be able to respond to them. However, the sedatives used can contain amnesiacs so that afterward you will most likely remember little if anything about the treatment. It’s the perfect solution for anyone who feels deeply anxious and who would otherwise avoid essential dental care.

There are different types of sedation dentistry but here at Ivory Dental, our dentist Dr. Benjamin Hull will often recommend intravenous or IV conscious sedation to help patients who feel especially nervous or who require extensive and quite lengthy treatment. IV conscious sedation is also helpful for people with special needs.

You may wish to consider sedation dentistry if you’ve been avoiding essential dental care and need quite a bit of work to restore dental health. Also, sedation dentistry can be useful if there are certain procedures that you’d love to have such as dental implants or a smile makeover but have been prevented from receiving because of dental fears.

What Is IV Conscious Sedation?

With IV conscious sedation1, the sedative is administered intravenously straight into your veins, so it takes effect extremely quickly. One of the huge advantages of having IV sedation is that it promotes a sense of deep relaxation, and we can ensure you receive the sedative for precisely the time required. Once treatment is completed, the sedative is immediately reversed, and although we will need to keep you with us for a while afterward, you will soon be okay for someone to take you home. People are often amazed when the sedative is reversed because it seems like only moments have passed when in fact your appointment might have been quite lengthy.

Intravenous sedation is enormously beneficial if you require multiple procedures because often these can be completed in just one appointment. Completing more treatment during a single appointment helps to restore dental health that much more quickly, and of course, it’s much easier to arrange a single appointment than to plan for several appointments over a more extended period. However, intravenous sedation dentistry isn’t just reserved for complicated treatments. You can choose this option if you only need a few fillings, as it’s essential for us to find a form of treatment that is comfortable and acceptable to you. It’s a solution that can help people with a low pain threshold or who have sensitive teeth, and it can be beneficial for anyone with a severe gag reflex. It is also suitable for anyone who simply finds it difficult to sit still in the dental chair!

Is IV Conscious Sedation Safe?

There is a small risk when receiving dental anesthesia, but every effort is taken to minimize this risk. Before receiving IV conscious sedation, Dr. Hull will thoroughly assess your medical history, and he will need a list of any medications currently used to determine if you are a suitable candidate for IV sedation. You will be given explicit instructions on how to prepare for intravenous sedation, including whether you need to stop eating or drinking before the procedure. The level of sedation provided will be appropriate for your age and health, and you will be continually monitored during your treatment and for a while afterward. Once we are sure you are well enough to go home, you will need someone to drive you home afterward, and of course, you will need to take it easy for at least the rest of the day. We take every possible precaution to keep you safe and healthy!

What about the Cost of IV Conscious Sedation?

Your dental and medical insurance coverage may help pay for the cost of sedation dentistry, depending on the work required. It’s also worth bearing in mind that although sedation dentistry may cost a little more initially, it will help save time and prevents any delays in you receiving essential dental care.

Helping You to Overcome Dental Anxieties

There’s little doubt that IV conscious sedation is extremely useful for restoring dental health or for assisting people to receive the dental treatments they desire. Often, once people have good oral health, maintaining it is relatively straightforward with regular preventative dental care visits and where frequently no treatment is required. Provided you maintain a good oral health regime at home then usually, a routine dental checkup and clean is all that’s needed. Also, regularly visiting the dentist can help to gradually overcome dental anxieties, replacing any negative memories with more positive experiences. The option of IV sedation is always there if you need it too.

If you are plagued by dental fears and anxieties and would like to conquer them, we’d love to help you! Dr. Hull and everyone here at Ivory Dental has lots of experience in assisting nervous or anxious patients to feel comfortable and relaxed while receiving dental treatment. We take the time to listen to you and to understand your concerns, to provide compassionate and gentle dental care where your comfort, needs, and feelings are always our priority. We can help you make dental anxieties a thing of the past.