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FAQ Oral Sedation Page

Tosh Dental Group FAQ Oral Sedation PageIs sedation dentistry right for me?

Sedation dentistry is a solution for patients who are afraid of the dentist or have time restraints and would like more efficient dentistry. Sedation dentists help patients feel as comfortable as possible using well established and proven protocols with a variety of sedation medications administered orally and sublingually (under the tongue). These protocols can be customized for each patient’s individual emotional and physical needs. Sedatives help relax patients by slowing the action of the central nervous system. People remain aware of their surroundings, but are less responsive to external stimuli such as the sound of the drill or the smell of materials.

Sedation dentists, like Dr. Tosh, have extensive knowledge of the science behind sedation and have met stringent continuing education requirements for the purpose of performing safe and effective sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentist introduction

Dr. Tosh is committed to excellence in this field. This commitment has led to a desire to implement sedation to create a relaxing and comfortable experience for nervous patients. Dr. Tosh began studying the science behind sedation with DOCS Education and now offers this sedation expertise to any patients who are afraid of visiting the dentist, or simply, face time restrictions and would like their dental treatments completed more efficiently. 

TOP 10 QUESTIONS ABOUT SEDATION DENTISTRY

Do other people feel just like me?

Many people are just like you. Dentistry scares the bejeezus out of them — but they don’t want to be judged. They don’t want to feel as though they’re the only person on the planet whose heart starts beating out of their chest at the prospect of going to the dentist. And frankly, who would?

As if dentistry itself isn’t bad enough. People who are nervous about dentistry just want their fear to go away. And thankfully, there are many trained professionals who want that too. Which is why sedation dentistry exists.

Is it too late to fix my teeth?

The condition of your mouth is not an end. It’s a starting point. We’ve all experienced the shame and anxiety that can well up when you realize it’s been — ahem — a little longer than six months since your last cleaning. Or the moment you realize, slightly terrified, that one of your teeth is seemingly on its last leg. Sadly, for too many, the deterioration of oral health is not an incentive to visit the dentist — but rather, a deterrent. Ironic? Yeah. Cool? Not with us. Which is why we must stress the point that no matter how long it’s been since your last visit to the dentist — it’s never too late to turn things around.

Will it hurt?

No. If you opt for sedation, you’ll be treated by trained professionals who can expertly gauge and calibrate the medication you receive based on your specific health profile. You can rest assured you will feel absolutely no discomfort during your dentistry. Yes, yes...we know in the past some evil hygienist (the one who asks you how your job is while she’s prodding around in your mouth) probably struck — literally and figuratively — a nerve or two. However, we are not that lady. We promise.

Will I be left alone at any point?

Never. From the moment you pick up the phone to inquire about a sedation appointment, to the moment you leave the practice, you will never be alone. A sedation dentistry team will always be present to attend to any of your needs or concerns. We’re here for your emotional support as you make the choice to proceed. We’ll ensure you’re comfortable — after all — that’s our #1 priority. And of course, we’ll provide monitoring and evaluation for your safety. We believe the strongest relationships are built through patient education. And that’s precisely what we provide.

What if I have a medical condition? Will I still be able to use sedation dentistry?

Some people play fast and loose with the word expert. We, however, are not those people. To become a sedation dentist, one must meet stringent requirements. Or to put it plainly, be remarkable.

Sedation dentistry is not just about providing medication. It is about having a nuanced and powerful understanding of the science behind sedation. Many sedation dentists put in dozens — if not hundreds of hours of continuing education to intricately study sedation. To understand precisely how different medications affect different people. And most importantly, to determine a treatment plan that will work best for you. Not Bob. Or Jill. You.

What about money? How much does sedation cost?

Money, money, money. Money. Any dentist who doesn’t acknowledge this concern in their patients is utterly oblivious and probably has a heart comprised of ice. Sedation practices are well-trained in helping patients navigate unique financial situations: what treatment you’ll need, and what options will make a difference when it comes to making your appointment(s) as affordable as possible. After all, there are many variables: payment plans and taxes will affect the bottom line. Insurance coverage can help — but how much?

The cost of sedation varies “depending on the level of sedation, the expertise and demographic factors,” explains Constance P. Fadigan, RDH, BA and original co-founder of DOCS Education. “Typically, the sedation medication itself is not covered by insurance and DOCS members tell us they charge anywhere from $300-$500,” she continues. This is comparatively little when measured against the cost of delayed treatment to an individual’s health. Yet the emotional payoff - if the thought of visiting the dentist makes your stomach squirm - is worth it?

Will I be aware of my surroundings? Will I be in control?

Ah, control. We all find our own methods of controlling our environment to keep anxiety at bay. Some of us meticulously clean our teacup collection. Some walk the dog. And some of us simply want to receive dental treatment without feeling like we’re stranded on another planet. And the prospect of being...well...NOT in control may be daunting to say the least. However, sedation dentistry was developed with patient comfort in mind. Therefore you’ll always be conscious, responsive and able to tell your dentist and team what you need. Sedation dentistry is described by many patients as being much like a pleasant dream. But a dream in which you have control over what you say and do.

How long will the medication last?

Typically, the medication will be entirely worn off by the morning following your treatment. It is important to have a companion escort you home — and that both of you stay home until the following morning. And we all know what that means: you’ll have the opportunity to play couch-potato, guilt-free, for the remainder of the day. (Yes!) Of course, the length of the medication will vary based on how much is administered in the first place, and how quickly the patient metabolizes it.

Will sedation help me save time?

Yes. Using sedation often saves you time, and in turn, money. More dentistry can be completed in fewer appointments. Take, for example, patient A and patient B: both needed the exact same treatments: periodontal therapy (deep cleaning), six fillings and a crown on a broken tooth.

Patient A chose to skip sedation: Patient A was anxious in the chair. His treatments took four appointments and therefore, he missed four days of work.

Patient B chose to use sedation: Even though he required the exact same treatment as Patient A, his dentistry was completed in just two appointments. He did not need to miss as much work as Patient A, and he was comfortable and relaxed during his treatment

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes. Sedation dentists are trained professionals who have completed continuing education and met stringent requirements to administer sedation. They have an extensive knowledge of the science behind sedation and understand the nuance and customization each unique treatment plan requires. Sedation dentists are just as committed to safety as they are to the comfort of their patients. They do not focus on a single aspect of wellbeing, but rather, make it their top priority to ensure their patients are wholly safe, comfortable and happy — no matter what.