Certain individuals experience some trepidation when preparing for a visit to the dentist. Although our cosmetic dentist is highly respected for his skill and precision, our patients sometimes feel a bit nervous about their upcoming procedure(s). That can prevent them from achieving the beautiful smile they desire, or having much-needed dental work performed (including to save a tooth or the gums). Fortunately, we offer an option to help our patients relax and feel completely comfortable during their visit, sedation, or sleep dentistry.
What Is Sedation (Sleep) Dentistry?
Sedation (sleep) dentistry makes dental work easy and comfortable for many of our patients with anxiety or fear of coming to our office. By taking oral medication, patients are completely relaxed and at ease throughout their treatment, feeling no pain or discomfort. They are not unconscious, but generally responsive and able to follow directions or requests from our professional team. We carefully monitor the patient’s vital signs while they are in their deeply relaxed state. After the work is finished, patients slip comfortably out of their relaxed state, and most have no recollection of the experience at all!
The Sedation Dentistry Process at Our Newport Beach Practice
To get started, we meet with the patient to discuss his or her wants, needs, and treatment plan – whether it involves the placement of porcelain veneers, replacing a metal filling, or recontouring the gums. We supply the patient with oral medication to take the night before their scheduled treatment so they can enjoy a restful sleep that night. When they wake up on the morning of their appointment, they take another medication and have a companion transport them to our office. If the effects of the medications are wearing off, our staff can provide the patient with another dose. Our dentist completes his work while the patient relaxes and enjoys a calm, yet conscious, state. The patient leaves our office after the procedure in the care of his or her companion, and relaxes at home until the medication has completely worn off.
Who Is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation (sleep) dentistry is available to patients from Newport Beach and the surrounding Orange County communities. It is recommended for those who:
- Have extreme dental anxiety or fear
- Have an extremely sensitive gag reflex or teeth
- Have had a negative experience at a dentist’s office
- Require complex dental work
- Delay visiting the dentist because they likely require extensive dental work
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
At OC Lifesmiles, where we think of our patients as partners, safety is our number one priority, especially when it comes to oral conscious sedation dentistry. Our team uses techniques that have been vetted for safety, and successfully used in countless procedures since OC Lifesmiles was established. Before being considered for sedation dentistry, we will review your medical history to ensure your safety. While undergoing conscious oral sedation, patients are closely monitored throughout the entire process.
What are the Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry?
Typically, patients who undergo sedation dentistry do not see serious lingering side effects after their treatment. However, there can be several minor side effects that usually wear off within a few hours of leaving our office. Some patients commonly experience drowsiness or grogginess. Others may feel dizzy and even experience a mild headache, nausea, or the feeling of having a “dry mouth.” It should be noted that not every patient experiences these side effects.
How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?
The national average cost of oral conscious sedation is estimated to be in the range of $175 to $500. Please note that this is a very general national average, and does not necessarily indicate the specific cost of sedation dentistry at our practice as it relates to an individual’s unique treatment plan. The overall cost is determined before your procedure when your treatment plan is created. You will have a chance to review your treatment plan and its estimated cost before we move forward with your treatment. At OC Lifesmiles, we accept cash, credit card, check, and offer financing options. CareCredit® can offer qualified patients a range of payment plans to make the costs of treatment more manageable. Your individual costs will be reviewed as part of your treatment plan.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
Will I fall asleep during sedation dentistry?
Patients can fall asleep but typically remain in a relaxed, conscious state throughout the process. The purpose of sedation dentistry is to calm your fears of going to the dentist and having work done. Oral conscious sedation should leave you feeling relaxed even when you get home following your procedure. Oftentimes, patients are so relaxed that they have little or no memory of treatment after their appointment.
What does dental sedation feel like?
Relaxing. You’ve likely chosen dental sedation because you’re worried about your dentist visit. Patients often feel no pain or discomfort during or after their visit. The ease of using oral conscious sedation can surprise you, and will ideally help with your anxiety for future visits as well.
Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?
The cost of sedation dentistry can be mitigated and lessened through the help of insurance. What insurance covers is based on each individual patient’s current insurance policy. At OC Lifesmiles, we will review your unique situation and help assess your treatment costs based on your insurance policy. We accept several insurance companies including Anthem® Blue Cross, Aetna®, Assurant®, Cigna®, Delta Dental®, Guardian®, and MetLife®.
Can I drive home after sedation dentistry?
No, you cannot drive yourself home after sedation dentistry. You are required to have a responsible adult drive you to and from our office. The side effects from oral conscious sedation should wear off within hours of your procedure.
Is sedation dentistry worth it?
The benefits of sedation dentistry can be immense. Those who have dental anxiety or struggle with a fear of the dentist will likely prefer to complement their treatment with some form of sedation dentistry. If your personal goal is to reduce the anxiety of your trips to the dentist, then, yes, sedation dentistry can be worth it.
Contact Us for Comfortable Sleep Dentistry
If you’d like more information about sedation (sleep dentistry), contact our cosmetic dentistry practice in Orange County. Dr. John Cross can use sleep dentistry in many cases, such as those involving root canal work or gum disease treatment.