Sedation Dentistry FAQs

If the thought of dental treatment makes your heart race, you may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Dental anxiety and more severe dental phobia are common concerns. They could stem from negative experiences at other practices, or you may have been frightened by stories from other people. Dr. Eshom provides gentle service, as well as four types of sedation, to make your treatment stress-free. At a consultation, he will explain each option and what you can expect. Then he will help you select the most suitable type so you can enjoy effective care with minimal discomfort.

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What Types of Sedation Do You Offer?

Dr. Eshom offers four sedation options:

  • Nitrous oxide: More commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is odorless and colorless. You will inhale it through a mask, and it will take effect quickly.
  • Oral conscious: If you opt for oral conscious sedation, Dr. Eshom will prescribe anti-anxiety medications. Varying doses will determine the level of sedation. It may induce mild relaxation or a twilight sleep.
  • IV sedation: Sedatives administered through your blood stream are stronger than oral medications. You will enter a twilight sleep, and Dr. Eshom can adjust the amount of medication throughout your procedure.
  • General anesthesia: Under general anesthesia, you will be completely asleep. This type of sedation is also administered via an IV.

Which Type of Sedation Is Right for You?

The most suitable sedative for you will depend on a number of factors.

  • Your level of anxiety: If you only suffer from mild anxiety, Dr. Eshom may recommend nitrous oxide or a low dose of oral medication. IV sedation is typically suitable for patients with more intense dental anxiety. We typically reserve general anesthesia for the most phobic patients.
  • The procedure you are going to undergo: If you are going to undergo a more extensive treatment, such as implant placement, you may benefit from deeper sedation.
  • Your overall health: If you have a compromised immune system or another serious health concern, Dr. Eshom will be very careful when determining the most prudent sedation method.

Is Sedation Safe?

When administered by an experienced practitioner, dental sedation involves negligible risks. Plus, if you choose IV sedation or general anesthesia, Dr. Eshom will collaborate with an experienced anesthesiologist. This doctor will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure throughout your treatment. He or she can adjust the amount of medication, as needed.

Can I Drive Home after My Sedation Wears Off?

It depends on the type of sedation you choose. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly, so you should be able to drive yourself home. However, it will take much longer for oral and intravenous medications to leave your system, so you should arrange for a ride to and from your appointment.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation will enable you to receive the care you need without stress or anxiety. In some cases, this may mean that you can receive cosmetic treatment for a dream smile. In other situations, sedation may actually enable you to undergo your routine dental cleanings for the first time in years. In turn, you can enjoy improved oral health and a reduced risk for cavities and gum disease.

Dental sedation can also help you relax if you have an exaggerated gag reflex.

How Much Does Sedation Cost?

The cost of your sedation will depend on the type you choose and the duration of your treatment. Dr. Eshom will provide an estimate to help you make an informed decision about your care.

Is Sedation Covered by Insurance?

There are some cases in which dental insurance may cover the cost of sedation. For example, if sedation will enable your dentist to perform a procedure in one appointment instead of several, your company may agree to pay. Additionally, there are some treatments, such as implant placement, in which sedation is a standard of care. In these instances, insurance will typically cover sedation. Our office team will help you make the most of your policy. We will do everything we can to obtain coverage for sedation, if possible.

Learn More about Sedation Dentistry

If you have additional questions about sedation, or if you are ready to begin stress-free dental care, contact our San Diego sedation dentistry office at (858) 455-9151 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Eshom.