When our Langley patients suffer from anxiety, discomfort and pain, we often recommend what is known as conscious oral sedation, sedation dentistry or "sleep dentistry." We use this form of dental sedation with personalized sedatives to relax patients.
We have many sedation dental options and can provide a wide range of dentistry services including:
In fact, you may have heard of laughing gas, happy gas, oral conscious sedation or dental procedural sedation – they're all the same thing. Nitrous oxide oral sedation is also minimal sedation dentistry.
Conscious Oral Sedation vs. General Anesthesia
If you've experienced general sedation, dental conscious sedation is quite different. Let's take a look at a few of the main differences between the two:
Conscious Sedation at a Dentists Office
Conscious sedation is used for teeth cleanings, dental fillings, tissue biopsies and the like. During the procedure, you'll be primarily awake. You may remember some parts of the dental procedure. A variety of forms of conscious sedation may be given:
Effects may take a few minutes unless an IV is given. After the procedure, the sedation will quickly wear off and you may even be able to drive yourself home. There are three stages of dental conscious sedation:
Minimal, administered through oral medication. The medication will relax you, but you will remain conscious.
Moderate, patients will be sleepy but primarily conscious and responsive.
Deep sedation, patients will be primarily non-responsive and fall asleep.
At Blue Water Dental the dentist will discuss multiple options and/or services with you during your visit to ensure that you fully understand what you can expect from your sedation dentistry.
General anesthesia is given during major dental surgeries or as requested for a variety of services. In general, you'll be entirely unconscious during the procedure and won't recall any of it. This form of anesthesia is given through an IV in your arm and the effects are rapid
You'll need someone to take you home because the effects of the anesthesia will take hours to wear off.
5 Steps of Sleep Dentistry at our Langley Office
We understand that any form of sedation dentistry is scary, and conscious sedation dentistry is no exception. Therefore, we make our patients comfortable in the chair when your procedure is taking place. The general steps that you'll go through in our Langley clinic for your appointments are:
Sit in our chair. You'll come into our Langley dental office and sit in our chair like normal. We ask that you wear loose clothing so that the pulse oximeter works appropriately.
Sedation. The next step is taking an oral tablet, such as Diazepam or Hydroxyzine, or another medication prescribed by the dentist
Wait. You can expect the medication to take 30-45 minutes or more to take effect. The dentist will wait for the sedative to metabolize before beginning the dental procedure or services
Monitoring. Our team will continue to monitor your blood pressure and breathing. We may recommend wearing a nasal canula if your breathing becomes too shallow.
Procedure. While you're sedated, we'll begin the process. It may take 60 minutes to complete the procedure, or it can take hours, depending on the procedure being performed.
Local numbing agents are the most common option when undergoing routine dental procedures, such as crown replacements, receiving dental fillings or having root canal dentistry performed.
If you have severe anxiety or even panic attacks when performing dental work, please ask our staff or dentists for sedation dentistry options.
We won't, in most cases, recommend conscious sedation services unless we know that you're anxious or scared.
What Can You Expect to Feel at our Langley Dentist Office?
Every person reacts to sedation dentistry differently. For example, you may or may not experience the following effects, but these are among the most common effects people experience:
Tingling sensation primarily in the arms, feet, hands or legs
A feeling of heaviness or sluggishness
Limbs that feel heavier to move
You'll also experience a relaxing feeling where your anxiety and stress seem to melt away. While sedated, you can expect the world to feel slow while everything that you do will be slower. Conversations, movements and reaction speeds will be delayed.
Many of our Langley dental patients will laugh or giggle because they start to realize the slowing that occurs around them.
Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry
While sedation dentistry can help ease your nerves and make the dental procedure less stressful, you may experience side effects for a few hours. The most common side effects of treatment, include:
Low blood pressure
You'll want someone to come with you to drive home. It's not recommended to drive for the first few hours after you leave the office for treatment due to sluggishness and slow reflexes. We want you to get home safe and sound, and a ride can ensure that you're as safe as possible.
Recovering from Dental Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry recovery is quick, but there are a few things that we want you to know before sedation:
We'll keep you in our Langley office to monitor your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.
You'll be unable to drive home, so you'll need a ride home and we'll request the contact information prior to your appointment
Side effects can last the entire day, including drowsiness, sluggishness and headaches.
Plan to take the day off and do not operate any heavy machinery.
For many patients, they're willing to experience these minor side effects so that they can relax during the dental procedure.
Conscious sedation is difficult to estimate in terms of exact costs because there are many variables that impact price. The variables include the type of dental sedation, length of sedation and dental procedure. Cost mayor may not be covered by insurance, so be sure to consult with your insurer to learn your payment responsibilities. The cost for conscious sedation in Langley will:
Range from $75-$150 for light oral sedation
Range from $200 to $900 for moderate levels of sedation
You'll find the type and level of sedation play a significant factor in cost. We recommend that anyone who is anxious and panicked about routine or cosmetic dental procedures consider conscious sedation treatment. The sedation can help you have the confidence to come into our office and have much-needed dental work performed.