Sedation Dentistry In La Mesa

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Dental anxiety is common, with perhaps 1 in 4 adults suffering from this fear. Unfortunately, too many people allow their fear of dental work to interfere with their oral health.

Today, sedation dentistry is a safe and effective option for those who prefer not to be fully alert during their dental work. Visiting Dr. Feinberg, the top provider of sedation dentistry La Mesa has to offer, will ensure that you stay safe during the procedure.

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Sedation dentistry refers to a range of techniques in which a dentist provides medication to help patients relax during their procedure. This can include anything from minimal sedation, in which you are awake but fully relaxed, to general anesthesia, which is typically reserved for more invasive dental procedures.

The most common forms of sedation include:

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  • Nitrous oxide. Sometimes called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is applied through a mask placed over your nose. This gas wears off relatively quickly but helps you relax during the dental procedure. Because nitrous oxide is minimally sedating, you are safe to drive yourself home after your visit.
  • Oral sedation. Oral sedation involves taking a pill, such as Halcion (similar to Valium) before the procedure. Although you will be awake, you will be drowsy and may not fully remember the procedure.
  • General anesthesia. General anesthesia includes the use of medications that render you totally unconscious. This is typically reserved for surgical procedures and is not used for routine office visits.
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“I've had a fear of dentists since I was a child and since avoided dentists like the plague! My mouth was not in great shape. Dr. Feinberg helped me get over that with the best sedation dentistry in La Mesa. I never would have thought this possible. His sedation dentistry method helped me get my oral hygiene back.”

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How does sedation dentistry work?

In a La Mesa sedation dentistry appointment, Dr. Feinberg will give a drug before or during your dental appointment. There are oral sedatives that can help you relax while you are undergoing a procedure.

It will reduce your nervousness and relax your body to the point where you will feel drowsy. There is also general anesthesia such as nitrous oxide that will render you unconscious for the duration of your dental procedure. You should let Dr. Feinberg know which medications you take on a daily basis as certain medications could interfere with a sedative or anesthesia. As a sedation dentist, he will advise you on whether to avoid taking it prior to your visit.

Common Dental Fears: Dental Sedation Methods

IV moderate sedation

IV sedation dentistry is a moderate sedation that involves a patient being conscious but not aware of what is going on in her surroundings. An intravenous sedation is being in an altered state of consciousness where your memory and perception of pain are greatly reduced because you are very relaxed and have no discomfort. Many patients believe they have been asleep because they cannot remember what happened during the procedure. The patient is awake but remembers very little. The effects of the sedative can last for several hours after your procedure has been completed.

What is IV sedation dentistry?

IV sedation dentistry is an anesthesia that relaxes a patient and is administered through a vein. Dr. Feinberg will determine the right amount of sedation. You may feel groggy following your procedure so make sure to have someone drive you home.

Oral sedation

Oral sedation can often be taking a pill prior to your procedure ranging from minimal to moderate depending on the dosage. The pill is taken about an hour before your procedure to help make you drowsy and relaxed but remain awake. You can also receive a larger dose to produce moderate sedation, an anesthesia associated with sedation dentistry. Some people can fall asleep from the moderate oral sedation but can be awakened with a gentle nudge.

Dr. Feinberg will help ensure that you feel at ease during your dental procedures.

What is conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation is part sedative to help you relax and part anesthetic to block pain during your dental procedure. Conscious sedation can be administered intravenously in a vein or a shot into a muscle. It does not take long for you to start feeling drowsy. You may also receive a medicine to swallow with the effects having a relaxing impact 30 to 60 minutes later. Most patients remain awake but some do fall asleep and easily woken up. After conscious sedation, you may feel drowsy but can return to your daily schedule soon after your treatment because the medicine wears off quickly.

Inhaled minimal sedation

Inhaled minimal sedation is one of the most used methods to help patients relax during a dental visit. Also known as nitrous oxide sedation, it is the lightest form of dental sedation providing enough level of anesthesia for most of the dental procedures. You breathe a mixture of nitrous oxide gas and oxygen for a calming and relaxing effect without any pain. You remain awake throughout your procedure and can respond to verbal commands from your dentists unlike unconscious sedation or general anesthesia. This sedation is also referred to as “laughing gas” and has been used for over 160 years.

Sedation Types

There are four major types of sedation when you visit our La Mesa dental office:

  • Inhaled minimal sedation: one of the most used methods in which the patient breathes nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask that is placed over the nose. The gas helps the patient to relax during a dental procedure. This sedation wears off quickly and is the only form of sedation that allows you to be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral sedation: Oral sedation can often be taking a pill prior to your procedure ranging from minimal to moderate. The pill is taken about an hour before your procedure to help make you drowsy and relaxed. You remain awake and can follow your dentist’s instructions. You can also receive a larger dose to produce moderate sedation. Some people can fall asleep from the moderate oral sedation but can be awakened with a gentle nudge.
  • IV moderate sedation: IV sedation dentistry is an anesthesia that is administered through your vein to bring you a feeling of relaxation. Your dentist determines the right amount of sedation to use during your procedure. You may feel groggy afterwards and should have a friend or family member drive you home.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia: You receive medications that will render you almost or totally unconscious during your procedure. With this sedation type, you are under general anesthesia and cannot be awakened easily. It takes time for the effects of the anesthesia to wear off.

Mild Sedation

Mild sedation is low dosage medication that allows you to remain awake but provide comfort while your dentist works on your dental procedure.

Moderate Sedation (conscious sedation)

Moderate sedation is medication that is a little stronger than a mild sedation but still allows you to be aware of your surroundings and respond to what the dentist asks you to do. You feel a little sleepier with this sedation to provide more anesthetic to block pain. You may fall asleep but can wake up easily. Some patients, including children, may not remember anything about the procedure.

Deep sedation

Deep sedation involves intravenous (IV) medications that help you sleep through the procedure. This sedation helps people who experience high anxiety when going for a dental visit and provides pain relief. Deep sedation makes the process more comfortable. When you wake up, you will feel groggy and need some time for the anesthesia to wear off before leaving the dentist’s office.

Sedation Dentistry FAQ

You are a great candidate for a La Mesa sedation dentistry if your anxiety level spikes at the thought of going to the dentist. Sedation is ideal for someone who is anxious and stressed about the experience of visiting her dentist and has a low pain threshold. There are other patients who can benefit from sedation dentistry, including people with chronic jaw pain, who cannot sit still in a chair, have strong gag reflex, or need stronger sedation because they are not as numb as they should be.

The cost of sedation dentistry La Mesa depends on which sedation is needed for your specific procedure and what may be covered by your dental insurance provider. It may vary depending on the form of sedation used. Call us for more information about cost and information about your dental insurance provider, what it may cover towards the cost of your sedation, as well as other health insurance programs such as CareCredit that are available.

It takes on average between 20 and 30 minutes for conscious sedation to wear off and be able to leave the dental office. The complete effect of the drugs may gradually fade over the next few hours. Most patients return to their normal activities the next day depending on the nature of their work.

Yes, especially if you are going to receive a strong enough sedation. Every individual reacts to sedation differently so it is best to err on the side of caution and have a friend or family member accompany you to your appointment.

Yes, a larger dose of oral sedation can make you so drowsy that you may fall asleep. But it is not a deep sleep and you can easily be awakened with a gentle shake.

Once you receive the oral sedation, you do not feel any pain. You become relaxed and pain-free through your procedure. Some patients do not have memories of their treatment thanks to the anesthetic effect of the sedation.

The Best La Mesa Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a safe, compassionate option for those people whose dental anxiety interferes with their ability to visit the dentist.

It is suitable for people with the following problems:

  • A low pain threshold
  • Inability to stay still in the dentist’s chair
  • Highly sensitive teeth
  • A very sensitive gag reflex
  • The need for a large amount of dental work

A good dentist ensures that your visit is comfortable from beginning to end, including providing a welcoming office environment, pillows or blankets during your dental procedure, and time to compose yourself after the dental work is complete. A sedation dentist like Dr. Feinberg will ensure that your dental visit is as anxiety free and relaxing as possible.

One of Dr. Feinberg’s best qualities is his ability to listen to his patients’ fears and help them find a solution that works for them. Our staff members work tirelessly to make each patient feel safe and comfortable. Contact us to learn more about why we’re known as the best providers of sedation dentistry La Mesa has to offer you.

American Dental Association The American College of Prosthodontists California Dental Association Academy of General Dentistry

The first step towards a beautiful, healthy smile is to schedule an appointment.

Please contact our office by phone or complete the appointment request form. Our scheduling coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment.

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