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Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Dentist and patient choosing treatment
Sedation dentistry is a dental practice that allows patients to feel more relaxed while receiving routine dental care. Before undergoing procedures, patients receive a dose of medication that allows them to feel relaxed and calm during their dental visit.
There are multiple levels of sedation dentistry, with one of the popular methods being minor sedation: the patient is awake during their dental procedure but is given enough anesthesia to feel calm and relaxed throughout their dental experience.
Is sedation dentistry right for you? Use this guide to assist you.
You Have a Fear of the Dentist
Up to 20% of Americans have a deep fear of going to the dentist, to the point of neglecting dental care because of anxiety of sitting in the dentist's chair. People who fear the dentist are more likely to experience tooth loss and gum disease than others because they visit the dentist less frequently and don't get the professional oral health care they need.
If you fear the dentist and haven't been in for a cleaning or oral checkup in years, then sedation dentistry is right for you. You can request sedation dentistry for cavity fillings or a dental cleaning, depending on your comfort level.
You Have a Low Tolerance for Pain
The main reason people avoid the dentist is because they don't want to be in pain. If you have a low pain tolerance threshold, a deep tooth cleaning can be painful for you. If your teeth or gums are sensitive, you may feel more discomfort in the dentist's chair than other patients.
In this case, sedation dentistry is a benefit; your fears of pain are greatly reduced when you receive this extra treatment because your body and mind are put in a state of relaxation.
For example, you may receive sedation prior to receiving numbing injections in areas that will be worked on. These injections make your dental procedures as pain-free as possible, and sedation before injections can make the injections themselves more comfortable.
You Have Been Sedated in the Past
If you have a history of being under anesthesia without issue in the past, either due to surgery or a more complicated dental procedure — such as getting your wisdom teeth pulled — then dental sedation becomes less of a concern.
If you have never been under general anesthesia or have a medical condition that can make this type of sedation dangerous, then you have other options for sedation dentistry. You can take an anti-anxiety medication prescribed by your dentist prior to receiving treatment, or you can receive nitrous oxide as part of your dental treatment plan.
You Have the Funds
Sedation dentistry is not usually covered by dental insurance companies unless the patient must receive general anesthesia for dental surgery. Before deciding if being sedated as part of your dental appointment is right for you, discuss the cost of various sedation options with your dentist.
Prices vary for sedation dentistry depending on the type of sedation you receive and where you live. On average, expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $500 for sedation. Receiving nitrous oxide may be your cheapest option, whereas IV medications can cost the most.
Your dentist will give you an outline of how sedation dentistry works and what you can expect when you receive sedation treatment. If you wish to be put entirely under for your dental procedure, particularly if you are getting a root canal or having a tooth pulled, choose a dentist who keeps an anesthesiologist on staff.
There are many reasons to consider sedation dentistry. Discuss your sedation options and the benefits of this additional measure of dental care with our professionals at Greenville Center for Sedation Dentistry today.