Sedation Q & A

Who is a candidate for sedation?

If you have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist you are a candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have a fear of pain, have had a traumatic dental experience in the past, or the sounds and smells of a dental office make you nauseous, sedation dentistry can help you get over your anxiety.

Some people have physical reasons, like a bad gag reflex or very sensitive teeth, which make them a candidate for sedation dentistry as well. If you are not sure if you are a candidate ask your dentist.

Is dental sedation safe?

A study performed by the National Institue of Dental and Craniofacial Research found that dental sedation is safe if administered in the recommended doses by trained sedation dentists. Through Dr. Pruitt's leadership with training at N.Y.U. and Miami on the Art and Science of Oral Conscious Sedation in Dentistry and as a result of his credentialing hours in sedation dentistry, Dr. Pruitt has recieved, from the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners, permitting as an approved Oral Conscious Sedation Facility.

Does it hurt? Are there any needles?

Patients who have been sedated and have extensive dental treatment usually experience little discomfort the next day. Because your reflexes are still functioning normally, we still use local anesthesia- you just probably won't remember it!

Will I be able to drive?

You should not drive until 24 hours after your dentist appointment. We require that someone bring you to our office in the morning and take you home after your appointment.

Will I be unconscious?

No, but you will be in a deep state of relaxation during your treatment. You will still be able to breathe on your own and communicate, but you will not feel any pain or anxiety. You may not even remember the procedure afterwards.

How long will I be sedated?

Sedation can last from about 2-6 hours depending on the strength of sedative you are given and how long your procedure takes.

Will I be monitored?

Yes, at all times during your sedation someone will be with you. We also monitor your vitals to make sure they remain at a normal level. Safety is of the utmost importance to us.

Are there any side effects?

Drowsiness the day of your appointment is to be expected. Some feel slight nausea, but that is due to the fact that they have not eated. Normally, patients feel fine after eating and taking in some fluids.

Are there any long term effects of sedation?

No. You will feel a little groggy and "out of it" after some forms of sedation, but after a few hours you will feel like yourself again. You will need to have someone drive you home from your appointment in these cases.

What procedures can be performed under sedation?

Just about any procedure can be performed with sedation. The sedation is not for the procedure itself, but for the anxiety that accompanies the procedure. Ask your dentist if sedation is available for a particular procedure.

How many appointments will I need to complete my dental work?

In most cases it only takes two appointments. The first appointment will be a consultation to check your health history and make sure you are a candidate for sedation. The next appointment will be to perform the necessary procedures. This can usually be done in one appointment, but may require a follow up visit.

Will my insurance cover sedation?

In most cases it will not be covered by your insurance provider. We will review your insurance coverage and let you know if it is covered or not. If it is not covered, we will let you know the cost and, if necessary, we can put together a financing plan for you.

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