Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective alternative for patients who are anxious or afraid, patients with a bad gag reflex or limited jaw opening, patients who have a hard time getting totally numb, need surgical treatment or extensive restorative treatment. Young children are wonderful candidates for sedation dentistry. It is a safe and economical alternative to hospital or surgical center based sedation. Our wonderful staff in all of our Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Solvang locations will calm your fears and answer any questions that you may have. Below are some common sedation questions.
Is sedation dentistry right for you?
Many patients fear going to the dentist, have difficulty getting numb, have joint problems (TMJ), a bad gag reflex etc.. and could enjoy the advantages sedation dentistry offers. Young children who are fearful or need extensive treatment, patients needing surgical treatment such as wisdom tooth removal or dental implants or anyone undergoing extensive or lengthy procedures would also appreciate being sedated for such treatment. Sedation is a safe and effective alternative for both children and adults and a wonderful treatment option for many. Below are some commonly asked questions about sedation dentistry. Please call and we would love to answer any other questions that you may have so that you can determine if sedation dentistry is right for you.
Are there different kinds of sedation?
Yes. Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) offers a low level of sedation and works great for some patients on minor procedures. Different oral medications such as valium or triazolam offer deeper levels of sedation with the benefit of some amnesia (little or no recollection of the procedure). I.V. sedation allows for a more predictable, controllable, and deeper level of sedation with a very good safety record and an improved amnesic effect. General anesthesia, performed in a hospital or surgical center, is the deepest level of sedation/anesthesia.
Will I sleep through the whole procedure?
Because of its effectiveness and predictability, we most often recommend I.V. sedation. This method allows us to carefully monitor your level of consciousness and adjust it according to need. You will be well sedated throughout the procedure while maintaining your protective reflexes. Typically, when you wake up you will ask a questions like, “Have we started?”, or “Are we ready to begin?”. There will be little or no recollection of the procedure(s) accomplished or how long it took.
Does insurance cover sedation?
Many insurance policies cover sedation for impacted wisdom teeth and children under the age of 5 years of age but may deny coverage for other procedures. Insurance benefits vary greatly from company to company and from contract to contract. We can help you find out what benefits may be available.
I have a lot of work to do. Can it all be done in one visit or does it require multiple visits?
Our practice has a strong emphasis on single appointment dentistry. We have the ability to do a root canal and crown all in one single visit. We often combine wisdom teeth removal with needed restorative work, extraction(s) with dentures and/or dental implants etc., and have the ability to do complex restorative care in a single visit. There are times when it is advantageous to have a laboratory fabricate the crowns necessitating a return visit to have them cemented.
Can I accompany my child during his/her sedation treatment?
We encourage parents to accompany their child as we are getting started. We typically have them breath “happy gas” (nitrous oxide) and watch a children’s movie for a few minutes to help calm and relax them. The I.V. is then placed (usually with little or no discomfort) and as they start to become sedated we ask the parent(s) to exit and wait in the waiting room until their needed work is completed. We like to have the parent(s) present when the child wakes up to comfort and reassure them. This usually goes very smoothly and helps to avoid traumatic dental experiences that may adversely affect a patient for years. As an added benefit, when they are asleep we have the ability to deliver a higher quality of care than is at times possible with a patient who may be uncooperative or unhappy. In office sedation typically is less costly than hospital or surgical center based sedation.