Should You Consider Sedation Dentistry in Houston, TX?
Don’t let your fear of the dentist get the best of you ever again! Dental sedation allows you to enjoy your time with us at Nu Dentistry.
Photography by Pete
Our dentists at Nu Dentistry often hear scary stories of patients coming into the dental office for the first time in years because their daily pain became too much. Bleeding gums, pus-filled dental abscesses, rotting teeth, and more go ignored for far too long because of a secret killer in the dental world: dental anxiety. Whether from a bad childhood experience or a fear that your visit might hurt, dental phobia shouldn’t get in the way of the dental care you need any longer.
What helps with dental anxiety? We have many ways to help calm nervous patients at our Houston dental office. Our friendly and funny dentists keep you calm and informed during your visits so that nothing is uncomfortable or a surprise. Every room comes with wireless Bluetooth headphones to let patients play their music during treatment. We even equip each of our private patient suites with two televisions, one at eye level and the other by the ceiling, through which you can stream your favorite movies and shows. However, we know that simple distractions, entertaining as they are, can’t help with every case of dental phobia. Sometimes you need a little something more to ensure you enjoy your time at the dentist: sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is one of our Houston office’s most popular dental anxiety treatment options. Patients remain comfortable and relaxed throughout their treatment without the need for a local anesthetic. However, don’t confuse it with sleep dentistry, which uses general anesthesia to make patients fall unconscious. Sedation dentistry doesn’t knock you out. Instead, patients are aware enough to respond to our questions, but all of their fear and anxiety will be gone as if they were never there.
Here at Nu Dentistry, we use three different sedation methods to keep our patients calm and relaxed in the dental chair:
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is breathed in through a mask over your nose to help you feel happy during your procedure. You’ll be feeling the effects in as little as 30 seconds. Due to its mildness, laughing gas is often recommended for routine or deep dental cleanings. The gas wears off quickly, so you can drive home and go about your day normally after your treatment.
Oral sedation is more powerful than laughing gas, and it takes much longer to take effect. You’ll typically take these pills 30 to 60 minutes before your appointment. Once they take effect, you’ll be fully awake, if a bit tired, and fully capable of responding to our dentists’ questions or requests. The pills won’t wear off for a few hours, so be sure to take the day off work or school with this medication.
IV sedation dentistry is the strongest and has two varying levels: “twilight” and “deep.” Here at Nu Dentistry, we perform the more moderate twilight sedation to keep patients awake but generally unaware of their surroundings. While a completely conscious sedation, many patients feel sleepy and relaxed enough to fall asleep during their procedure. If necessary, we can wake you before allowing you to catch up on your beauty sleep again. You might not remember much of your time with us afterward, which many of our dental phobia patients appreciate.
</h3>Can You Request To Be Sedated At The Dentist?</h3>
Dental phobia and anxiety aren’t the only reasons you might want to be sedated. Patients may benefit from dental sedation if:
- Multiple procedures are planned for a single day
- You have had bad and traumatic experiences with a previous dentist
- The patient has special needs
- Gag reflexes often get in the way of treatment
- You have sensitive teeth and gums
- Local anesthetic isn’t an option—due to bad reactions or problems getting numb
- You are going to have a long or extensive treatment
To be an excellent candidate, you should be in great general health and want to experience all that sedation has to offer. Your sedation dentist will consult with you about your medical history, past dental experiences and anxiety level, and current medications. This way, we can safely ensure that your time in our care is the best you’ve ever experienced.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does sedation dentistry cost?
Your cost depends both on which type of sedation you will need and how long it is required. For oral sedation, prices will also differ depending on the pill you use, such as diazepam, Ambien, or triazolam. Since it is optional, sedation is not included with the standard cost of your dental treatment. It is also not covered by a regular dental insurance plan. However, we want to make sure you get the incredible, stress-free dental experience you deserve. Our Houston office has multiple financing options, including an in-house membership program, to ensure you don’t have to worry about getting dental work ever again.
How do you feel after dental sedation?
Your sedation experience depends on which type you request. Patients who take laughing gas will be back to normal within minutes of removing their mask, without any of the happy giddiness they felt during treatment. With deeper sedation, you might feel tired and sleepy for hours afterward. You will also feel heavier, sluggish, and have slower reflexes, meaning you can’t drive until the effects of your medication wears off. Many patients don’t remember much or all of their dental procedure afterward. This can be a relief to those with acute dental phobia.
How long does dental sedation last?
Laughing gas is the lightest and quickest sedative, usually wearing off within minutes of your sedation dentist removing your mask. With no side or after effects, patients can drive themselves home safely without any problems. Both oral and IV sedation take much longer to pass through your system. Oral pills usually last between 4 and 10 hours, while IV sedatives require a full 24 hours. If you know that you will use sedation, please take the day off from work and plan with a friend or family member before your appointment to have them drive you home afterward.
Can I be sedated for tooth extraction?
Absolutely! If you want to benefit from sedation during your upcoming tooth removal procedure, don’t hesitate to let our Houston dentists know. Dental extraction is one of the most common procedures our patients request to be sedated for. We understand that the thought of having a tooth pulled can be nerve-wracking, especially if oral surgery is involved. IV is incredibly popular for wisdom tooth removal when patients will have all of their wisdom teeth taken out at once.
Is sedation dentistry dangerous?
With the right and experienced sedation dentist on your side, sedation dentistry is perfectly safe for most patients. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this treatment. We will thoroughly go over your medical history to ensure sedation is a safe option for you. Patients who are obese or have sleep apnea may not be advised to stick with a standard local anesthetic. And not all medications go well with dental sedation, so we will discuss which ones you are currently taking with you.
Even once you’re cleared and approved, our Houston dentists will closely monitor you throughout your appointment to ensure your procedure goes smoothly. Sedation works slightly differently for each patient. Some patients only need a small dosage to fall asleep, but others can take much more while staying awake and somewhat aware. Our expert professionals will make any adjustments necessary to keep you comfortable and safe in our care.
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5706 San Felipe St Ste B-300
Houston, TX 77057