Sedation services can be added to any dental procedure from a routine cleaning and exam to the most extensive procedures we do in our office.
Dr. Wellborn and our entire clinical team realize that dental anxiety is a very real concern. There have been various studies regarding dental phobias and, while the degree of severity varies, it can be estimated that over 30% of the US population ranges from putting of dental care due to mild dislike through patients who are highly phobic.
Many times this phobia is caused by bad dental experiences early in life or a procedure that may have gone wrong. Sometimes it’s just the concern that someone in the office will make you feel badly about any dental work that needs to be done.
We focus on the future around here. Our goal is to keep you feeling like you’re making progress towards keeping your oral health in good repair. Our office offers three types of sedation to keep patients as comfortable as possible.
Nitrous Oxide (Gas)
Nitrous oxide is a sweet smelling, colorless, non-irritating gas that you breath through a small nasal mask during your dental appointment. It has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years and has been found to have very little side- or long-term effects. It takes very little time to enter your system (2-3 minutes) and also very little time to get out of your system.
You are typically NOT good candidates for nitrous oxide gas i if you are pregnant, have emphysema, uncommon chest problems, M.S. or any other respiratory/breathing problems (like a cold).
Typically this additional service is not covered by insurance, but in our office it is a fee (typically between $35-50/session) that the patient pays at the time of service.
Oral Sedation (Pills)
Sometimes referred to as “Pill Dentistry” or “Sleep Dentistry,” oral sedation can be the best of all worlds and is available for any procedure you like (as long as your health history allows for it). In fact, Dr. Wellborn has completed advanced coursework in oral sedation dentistry in the state of Washington to ensure patient comfort and safety are met at the highest level.
It is less invasive into your body’s systems than an IV needle in your arm, but offers a significantly deeper sense of relaxation than nitrous oxide. Additionally, some forms of oral sedation have an amnesic affect, so while you are completely awake and responsive during the appointment, you may feel like you napped and were relaxed through the entire appointment.
Oral sedation is a great option if you are undergoing a dental procedure that takes 2-4 hours or suffer from a more severe form of dental anxiety. Your age, health history, and the dental procedure will determine which medications are appropriate for you. Please also note that oral sedation appointments require that you have driver to and from the appointment and you must refrain from driving and/or drinking alcohol for a specified period after the treatment.
The medications used in oral sedation are typically covered by a patient’s medical prescription drug plan. The additional fees charged in the office for Dr. Wellborn will typically not be covered by either medical or dental insurance and are due at the time of service. Our office is able to provide this specific information at the time a treatment plan has been established.
IV Sedation (Needle)
IV Sedation is offered for a host of reasons which may include fear, anxiety, surgical nature of procedure, or a large amount of dental work being performed fewer appointments. This type of sedation is administered by inserting a needle, typically into your arm, and delivering fluid medications as a constant drip containing the sedative drugs. During the sedation you may be asleep but breathing on your own.
IV Sedation requires a high level of monitoring since you may or may not be awake. For this purpose we bring in a nurse anesthetist to measure vital signs and deliver sedation medications. Your nurse anesthetist will contact you prior to the appointent to arrange payment for their services and discuss medical and health history with you.
IV Sedation appointments require a designated driver to transport the patient home from the appointment. IV sedation appointments are sometimes covered by medical and/or dental insurance depending on the dental procedure being completed.
If you have any questions about your sedation options, please contact our office.