3 Things You Need To Know About Sedation Dentistry

If the thought of going to the dentist makes you cringe, you're certainly not alone. In fact, it's estimated that 80% of the United States population is afraid of going to the dentist. Still, seeing your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings is a must if you want to avoid more major dental work down the road. Fortunately, many dentist offices these days offer the option of pain-free dentistry, which can help ease your anxiety and ensure a more comfortable experience.

There Are Different Types

Generally, there are three different common types of sedation (pain-free) dentistry, but you'll want to check with your dentist office to see which ones are offered at your location. The most common type of sedation dentistry is in the form of nitrous oxide (also referred to as "laughing gas"), which allows you to remain awake and conscious during your procedure, but reduces your stress levels and makes you feel carefree. 

Two other common types are oral sedation (you take a pill that essentially knocks you out for the duration of your procedure) and IV sedation (you're temporarily knocked out through an injection of medications).

Your Insurance May or May Not Cover It

No matter which type of sedation dentistry you choose, you'll want to check with your insurance company to see if they'll cover part or all of the associated costs. This can vary greatly from one insurance provider to the next, but many will cover nitrous oxide expenses for certain procedures (such as root planing/scaling and tooth extractions). Oral and IV sedation methods, on the other hand, are less likely to be covered by your insurance company, but it's worth looking into anyway.

You Might Need a Ride Home

Finally, understand that depending on the sedation dentistry method you decide on, you might need to schedule a ride home from the dentist's office. If you're just getting nitrous oxide, this probably won't be the case. More than likely, you'll simply be able to sit in the waiting room until the effects of the laughing gas wear off. However, for oral and IV sedation, the effects can last a bit longer, so you'll want to arrange to have a trusted friend or family member drive you home and perhaps even look after you for a few hours after your procedure.

Going to the dentist doesn't have to be painful or uncomfortable. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry for your next appointment.