Whitestone Family Dentistry - Cedar Park, TX

Sedation Dentistry

Stay Comfortable During Treatment

Sedation Dentistry

Dr. Chris Mun is here to help patients throughout Cedar Park, TX, get the expert dental care they need. If you are anxious, nervous, or scared of seeing the dentist, we’re here to help with expert sedation dentistry.

With sedation, you can overcome your anxiety, feel more comfortable, and get the care you need to maintain a healthy mouth and a bright smile. Contact us now to learn more and schedule an appointment today.

How Can Sedation Dentistry

Help Me At The Dentist?

First, sedation dentistry helps with feelings of fear and anxiety. Lots of people feel nervous about seeing the dentist, particularly for treatments that may require drilling or surgery, like a filling, a crown, a root canal, or a tooth extraction.

Sedation dentistry allows you to overcome these feelings of fear and anxiety, and feel more relaxed during your appointment. At Whitestone Family Dentistry, we can even offer sedation for treatments like six-month teeth cleanings if you have severe dental anxiety.

Not only that, but sedation can help with other challenges to your dental care as well, such as a fear of numbing needles or a strong gag reflex. When you choose to be sedated at Whitestone Family Dentistry, you’ll always feel safe and comfortable.

What To Expect

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide sedation, also called “laughing gas” sedation, is the most commonly used type of sedation. In this type of sedation, you do not need to take a pill. You’ll just put on a comfortable nose mask during your appointment at Whitestone Family Dentistry.

Then, your doctor will adjust some equipment to send a stream of oxygen and nitrous oxide into your lungs. You will begin to feel its effects almost immediately. Nitrous oxide will make you feel happy, calm, and relaxed.

Once your appointment is over, pure oxygen will be sent through the mask to eliminate any remaining nitrous oxide. The effects of laughing gas will wear off within about 5 minutes, and symptoms are usually limited to headache, dizziness, and minor nausea. You can drive yourself home, or even go back to work or school after your treatment.

What To Expect

Oral Conscious Sedation

Depending on the drug used in your treatment, you may take oral sedation the night before your treatment, or the morning of your appointment at Whitestone Family Dentistry. You’ll need someone to drive you to and from our office.

Once the sedative pill begins to take effect, you will feel groggy and sleepy. You may fall asleep, though you will not be unconscious. You can respond to commands and be woken up if necessary.

You may also experience “anterograde amnesia,” which means you may forget what happens during your appointment. However, the side effects of this method of sedation last a lot longer, usually at least 4-6 hours.

You cannot drive yourself home after oral conscious sedation or return to work or school immediately after your appointment, so keep this in mind, and plan to take the rest of the day off to rest, relax, and recover from your treatment and your sedation.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Yes, dental sedation is perfectly safe when administered by a professional and experienced dentist. However, there are always risks associated with taking any medications and sedation is no different. 

Not everyone is a good candidate for sedation, which is why we carefully review your medical history to determine if sedation is safe and right for you. Certain medical conditions like respiratory illnesses can rule you out as a candidate as well as allergies, certain medications that can interfere with the sedative, and being pregnant or breastfeeding. 

We will also take into account your age. Believe it or not, children are great candidates for sedation. However, older patients are at higher risk for complications when it comes to deeper levels of sedation.

Certain sedatives are safer than others so if you’re concerned, we can recommend the mildest and safest sedative we offer, which is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This is a sedative that is safe to be used on all ages, including children and older adults.

Is Dental Sedation

Covered By Insurance?

Dental sedation is unfortunately not usually covered by dental insurance except for cases that can be demonstrated to be medically necessary. Mild forms of sedation that are used to relieve dental anxiety or reduce stress will not be covered by insurance because they are considered a luxury procedure in line with cosmetic dentistry, aka not medically necessary. 

However, if you need to undergo a more invasive or complex procedure such as oral surgery and can prove that it needs to be done under general anesthesia, then your insurance may partially cover it. This is also the case if sedation is necessary because of mental or physical special needs. 

Contact your insurance plan directly to find out what they will cover. Most insurance plans have maximum coverage limits of around $1,500 per year and this may not be enough to even cover the sedation costs depending on the type and length of sedation.

Can I Drive Home

After Getting Dental Sedation?

This depends on the type of sedation you are receiving. The answer is yes only in certain cases such as receiving nitrous oxide, which is a mild sedative that metabolizes quickly. After removing your nasal mask, the sedative will wear off within just a few minutes. 

This sedative does not cause lingering hangover effects because it does not linger in the body. As a result, you will be able to drive home and return to normal activities at the end of your appointment. 

After receiving oral conscious sedation or any other deeper form of sedation, however, you will need to be monitored for a little bit before we can let you leave with a chaperone. You will not be able to drive or engage in strenuous activities for the next 24 hours. 

You should also not consume any alcohol or sign legal documents. You may feel groggy for the next 2 to 8 hours and will need someone to monitor you and help you get up flights of stairs. You should have someone bring you meals because you should not try to cook yourself and you may feel the hangover effects from the sedative for up to 24 hours.

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