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Sedation Dentistry at Bright Now! Dental

Professional dental care is essential to your overall health, but it’s often more involved than simply brushing and flossing. Sedation dentistry options like IV sedation and laughing gas can help you get the treatments and procedures you need, such as root canals, fillings, and teeth extractions, with minimal discomfort and anxiety.

At Bright Now! Dental, we know a visit to the dentist can not only be physically uncomfortable, but it can also produce a certain level of anxiety for many people. That’s why we offer a variety of sedation and anesthetic options to help reduce and manage pain, stress, and anxiety for a more positive experience that encourages better dental health.*

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What is sedation dentistry?

While local anesthesia numbs a treatment area and general anesthesia renders you unconscious, sedation dentistry simply helps to relax you. By reducing your stress, relaxing your muscles, and minimizing feelings of pain, sedation helps your dentist work faster and more efficiently. 

Most dental procedures will require a local or topical anesthetic, but dental sedation is more of a case-by-case basis. For some, it may depend on your pain threshold. For example, during the application of caps or veneers, the very top layer of enamel is removed. Some patients experience a feeling similar to intense brushing, but others experience some pain and sensitivity from the proximity to the tooth’s nerve endings. This is an instance where dental sedation may be used to reduce or eliminate pain in patients with higher sensitivity.

Dental sedation is common in pediatric dentistry, where children may have a harder time sitting still during a procedure like a filling or crown or who have strong anxiety or fear about the dentist.

Similarly, dental sedation is also used for adult patients with dental anxiety.

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What is dental anxiety?

For many people, visiting the dentist can cause anxiety, fear, or extreme discomfort. While these feelings are quite common, they can keep the people experiencing them from getting the dental care they need.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, experience panic attacks, or are afraid of the dentist’s office, sedation dentistry from Bright Now! Dental can help you feel more comfortable and confident during your visits so you’re more likely to come back for routine care. 

Sedation is usually the first step in trying to reduce dental anxiety because there are multiple sedation levels and the effects wear off more quickly than anesthesia. For example, laughing gas is a light sedative that leaves no lingering effects after the procedure, so the dentist might try it first to ease dental anxiety. If that doesn’t help, there are stronger options like oral sedatives or anesthesia. Often, patients with dental anxiety can start to gradually wean off of sedation as they become more accustomed to visiting the dentist. 

What are the different forms of sedation dentistry?

Bright Now! Dental offers several different types of sedation to help our patients feel relaxed and comfortable during a procedure. With any form of sedation, we will let you know what we plan to use and what you can expect before, during, and after the sedation. For any sedation method aside from inhaled minimal sedation (laughing gas) and a local or topical anesthetic, you should plan on having someone take you home after the procedure. Depending on your procedure and anxiety level, your dentist may use a combination of several types of sedation or anesthesia.

Dental sedation methods include: 

  • Topical Sedation: This is usually a gel or liquid that is applied directly to the treatment area to numb it. From root canals to teeth extractions, topical dental sedation can help control pain during the procedure.
  • Inhaled Minimal Sedation (“Laughing Gas”): This type of sedation, commonly known as laughing gas, is made up of a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. You may feel giggly at first, but it is used to help you feel relaxed.
  • More often than not, when it comes to dental sedation due to anxiety, this is all that is necessary. Dentists can control this level of sedation very specifically and it wears off quickly. 
  • Laughing gas is the only form of sedation after which you can drive yourself home post-procedure. It doesn’t remain long in your body because it is continually expelled from your lungs.
  • Oral Sedation:  There are a few different forms of oral sedation, but the most common is via oral medication that should be taken around an hour before the procedure. The dosage of the oral sedation may vary depending on your reaction to the medication and anxiety levels. 
    • Oral sedation helps numb the body and is not designed to fully put patients to sleep; however, many patients feel so relaxed that they become sleepy or fall asleep.
  • IV Sedation: IV sedation is similar to the combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide found in laughing gas, but it is delivered into the bloodstream as opposed to inhaling it. 
      • IV sedation works quickly and the level can be controlled instantly.
  • Local Anesthetic: Local anesthesia numbs the area where it is applied–usually via injection–to reduce discomfort levels during a procedure, but it doesn’t prevent anxiety or cause the patient to fall into a deep sleep. Instead, local anesthesia is an option that the dentist can use to help reduce pain levels at a specific location. 
  • Deep Sedation or General Anesthesia: With deep sedation, which is also called general anesthesia, the goal is to have you either nearly or completely unconscious. This form of sedation results in a deep sleep. 
    • This form of sedation is not often used for dental anxiety but is more commonly used for extensive procedures, such as dental implant surgery or removing wisdom teeth. 
    • Deep sedation or general anesthesia can produce a sense of forgetfulness or fogginess after waking up.  

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What is the cost of dental sedation?

The cost of dental sedation will largely depend on the type, how much was needed (which varies with age and weight), and the type of procedure it is being used for. Many forms of dental sedation are covered by dental insurance providers, but it’s always a good idea to check with both your insurance and our office, since prices can vary based on the situation and your unique needs. In addition to accepting most major dental insurances and CareCredit, Bright Now! Dental also offers a variety of financing and payment options to help you afford sedation services, including our own OneSmile Dental Plan, which provides members with free x-rays and exams and discounts on many dental services.

Safe and Affordable Dental Sedation at Bright Now! Dental

At Bright Now! Dental, your oral health is our number one priority, and we believe everyone deserves quality, compassionate care, no matter how they feel about the dentist or their dental health condition. If you do suffer from fear, discomfort, or anxiety while at the dentist, and especially if it’s been keeping you from getting the care you need, our dental sedation options can help make your visits to our office more comfortable and less stressful. 

Call Bright Now! Dental today at 1-844-400-7645 or schedule an appointment online and find out more about sedation dentistry.  

*Not all offices offer sedation dentistry. Please check with the office before scheduling an appointment.

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