Sedation Dentistry

Benefits | Risks | Types | Cost

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry, often known as “dental sedation“, “sleep dentistry” or “relaxed dentistry” is a dental practice that uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. However, patients are usually awake, except for those under general anesthesia. Sedation is particularly beneficial for people who have a fear of dental treatments, which is a condition known as dental phobia or odontophobia.

In sedation dentistry, the dentist uses different levels of sedation depending on the patient’s anxiety level and the complexity of the dental procedure. The sedation levels range from minimal, moderate, and deep sedation to general anesthesia.

Sedation Dentistry

Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry can benefit various patients. It’s particularly useful for people who have severe dental anxiety or fear. Individuals who cannot tolerate pain, have a low pain threshold, or can’t sit still in a dentist’s chair may also find sedation beneficial.

Children who are terrified of the dentist may also be sedated, especially if they need extensive dental work. Sedation can also help those with physical or mental disabilities who find it challenging to cooperate during dental treatment.


What are the benefits of sedation dentistry?

The main benefit of sedation dentistry is its ability to alleviate the fear and anxiety associated with dental procedures. This approach provides a relaxed, stress-free experience for patients who may otherwise avoid necessary dental care due to fear.

Sedation dentistry also enables dentists to perform multiple procedures in one session, saving time for both the dentist and the patient. It also reduces the gag reflex, providing a more comfortable experience for the patient.


What are the risks of sedation dentistry?

While sedation dentistry is generally safe, there are some potential risks and side effects. Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, or an allergic reaction to the sedation drugs. More severe complications, though rare, can include respiratory distress or heart problems. Risk can be minimized by thoroughly discussing medical history with the dental professional before undergoing sedation dentistry.

Visit Dynasty Tower Dental for Sedation Dentistry

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The Procedure of Sedation Dentistry

  • The sedation procedure varies depending on the type of sedation chosen. Inhaled minimal sedation involves the patient breathing nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” combined with oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. This method allows the dentist to control the amount of sedation, and the gas tends to wear off quickly.
  • Oral sedation, ranging from minimal to moderate, involves taking a pill. The pill typically taken is Halcion, which is similar to Valium, and it’s taken about an hour before the procedure.
  • IV moderate sedation involves the sedative drug being delivered through a vein, which allows it to work more quickly. This method enables the dentist to adjust the sedation level continuously.
  • Finally, general anesthesia or deep sedation involves medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious during the dental procedure.


Types of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry encompasses various types, including:

  1. Nitrous Oxide Sedation: Also known as laughing gas, it’s inhaled through a mask. The effects wear off quickly, and patients can often drive themselves home after the procedure.
  2. Oral Sedation: This type involves taking a pill that induces a state of deep relaxation. Patients remain awake but feel very relaxed.
  3. Intravenous (IV) Sedation: Sedative drugs are administered through a vein for this method. It allows for a deeper level of sedation and the effects are felt more quickly.
  4. General Anesthesia: Patients are completely unconscious for the duration of the procedure. This method is typically used for lengthy, complex procedures.

Costs and Insurance Coverage

The cost of sedation dentistry in Ontario can vary greatly depending on the type of sedation used and the duration of the procedure. It’s crucial to consult with your dentist and health insurance provider to understand the costs and what your insurance covers.


Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes, sedation dentistry is generally safe. However, as with any medical procedure, there can be risks. It’s crucial to discuss your medical history and any potential risk factors with your dentist before deciding on sedation dentistry.

Can I eat or drink before my procedure?

Guidelines about eating and drinking before sedation dentistry depend on the type of sedation being used. For some types of sedation, fasting might be required. Your dentist will provide specific instructions before the procedure.

Can I drive home after my appointment?

If you had minimal sedation with nitrous oxide, you might be able to drive yourself home. However, if you had moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia, you would need someone to drive you home.

Will I be unconscious?

Not always. Except for general anesthesia, most sedation dentistry techniques will leave you awake but relaxed.

How long will the effects of sedation last?

The duration of the sedation effects depends on the type of sedation used. For some people, it can take a few hours to wear off.

Is sedation dentistry only for surgical procedures?

No, sedation dentistry is not just for surgical procedures. It can be used for simple procedures such as tooth cleaning, especially for patients who experience extreme dental anxiety or have difficulty sitting through a dental appointment.

Will I feel any pain while under sedation?

One of the advantages of sedation dentistry is that it minimizes discomfort. While you may still feel some sensations, discomfort is usually greatly reduced or eliminated.

How long will it take for the sedation to start working?

The time it takes for the sedation to start working depends on the type of sedation used. Some forms like IV sedation and nitrous oxide work very quickly, while oral sedation requires more time to take effect.

Can any dentist perform sedation dentistry?

Not all dentists are trained to administer all types of sedation. It’s important to ensure that your dentist has the appropriate qualifications and experience to administer the type of sedation you’ll be receiving.

Is sedation dentistry covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for sedation dentistry varies greatly depending on your specific insurance plan and the reason for the sedation. In some cases, if sedation is deemed medically necessary, it may be partially or fully covered. Always check with your insurance provider for specific details.

Are you in North York, Ontario, and considering sedation dentistry?!

We hope to make your visit to the dentist as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We believe that with sedation dentistry, you can maintain your oral health without fear or discomfort. Remember, your oral health matters. Let’s work together to make your dental care a positive experience at Dynasty Tower Dental.

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