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What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide also known as “laughing gas” is a safe and effective sedative that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you calm and relax.  It is one option your dentist may offer to help make you more relaxed and comfortable during certain dental procedures.  It is not intended to put you to sleep. You will be able to hear and respond to any requests or directions the dentist may have. Your dentist will ask you to breathe normally through your nose, and within a few short minutes you should start to feel the effects of the nitrous oxide. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs.  Some people say their arms and legs feel heavy.  Ultimately, you should feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off soon after the mask is removed.

Talk to our doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry, also called sleep dentistry, is a way for patients with dental anxiety to undergo treatment while completely relaxed and with little or no memory of the procedure. You’ll also have no sense of time, feeling like your procedure only took a minute regardless of how long it actually took. Despite the name sleep dentistry, you do not go to sleep. You remain conscious except with deep sedation.

What Is the Typical Sedation Dentistry Cost?

Every patient’s sedation dentistry cost is unique because it depends on the type of sedation you select and the amount the dentist needs to use. Longer procedures require more sedation. Our dentist can explain your anticipated cost after you have selected a sedation method.

Why Do Individuals Request Sedation for Dental Treatment?

Individuals who request sedation dentistry in Gardena want to relieve the anxiety they feel at the thought of being in a dentist’s office. Usually, the more anxious a person feels, the more they can benefit from sedation. People also want to have little or no memory of their dental procedure so the appointment won’t reinforce their dental anxiety. Instead, individuals begin to associate a dental visit with a relaxing experience.

What Are the Different Forms of Sleep Dentistry?

Your dentist is the most appropriate person to help you decide on a sedation method. He or she will access your level of anxiety to determine the level of sedation you will need. We will take a complete medical history and go over the prescription medication you take so our dentist can choose the safest sedation method for you.

Inhalation Sedation – "laughing gas", has a long history of safely calming and relaxing dental patients. You will breathe the odorless, colorless gas in through a mask you wear over your nose. You will reach your peak relaxation point in only a couple of minutes. Inhalation sedation is safe enough for dentists to use on children.

Oral Sedation – With oral sedation dentistry, or conscious sedation, you take a pill about an hour prior to your procedure starting. Your dentist will prescribe an anti-anxiety medication after reviewing your medical history to make sure you don’t have a medical condition or take medications which would make taking a prescription drug unsafe for you. Your dentist may suggest laughing gas along with oral sedation dentistry.

IV Sedation – IV sedation dentistry offers a deeper level of sedation with a rapid onset. Our dentist will use a very small needle to administer the medication. You will relax and be completely comfortable with IV sedation dentistry. If needles are part of your anxiety, ask your dentist about oral sedation before your appointment.

Deep Sedation – Deep sedation, or sleep dentistry, is the deepest level of IV sedation. You will sleep, but you can we waken you if needed. Sleep dentistry is not the same as general anesthesia where your dentist can’t wake you up mid procedure. Most dentists recommend deep sedation for oral surgery or other long, complex procedures.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Sedation Dentistry?

We offer varying levels of sedation for people who feel a little anxious to people who would not make a dental appointment unless they received sedation. We feel this is sedation dentistry’s main benefit. People who don’t get regular dental care end up with a higher risk for decay and gum disease. They may begin to avoid situations where they will be smiling which can hinder an individual’s professional and social life.

Another benefit is a lack of memory of the procedure which can help individuals who had a bad dental experience in the past. A fuzzy, painless memory with no recollection of time passing can replace a bad experience and reduce the individual’s anxiety on their next visit. Sedation also reduces a patient’s gag reflex.  If you are interested in these benefits, please call our office for an appointment.

Do Dental Plans Pay for Sedation for Dental Treatment?

Dental plans rarely cover sedation dentistry insurance unless they deem it medically necessary for a specific procedure. Your insurance company may cover IV sedation dentistry for oral surgery. Check your policy for details about sedation dentistry coverage. If you have a physical or mental disability, your insurance may cover sedation to enable you to cooperate with the dentist. Fortunately, laughing gas and oral sedation are inexpensive so you can pay out-of-pocket expenses if needed, especially when combined with our financing options to make it easier by spreading out the costs.

How Long Do The Effects of Sedation Last?

How long the effects last depend on the type of sedation your dentist uses. Laughing gas wears off very quickly, in about five minutes after your dentist removes the mask. Oral sedation takes longer to wear off depending on the drug used, usually between two to eight hours. IV sedation wears off quicker than oral sedation, depending on the dosage. You still must have someone escort you and drive you home.

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