FAQs About Long Island Sedation Dentistry

cosmetic dentist with surgical glasses

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry understand the trepidation many people feel when coming in to have work done on their teeth. The fear of pain, unpleasant sounds, needles, and complications can be overwhelming, and unique to the individual.

We take a compassionate approach to dentistry with gentle hands and offer our patients multiple options for sedation during cosmetic dental procedures. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry, which will hopefully help assuage some of your concerns.

What sort of dental procedures use sedation?

Sedation is routinely used for:

Can you just knock me out for my procedure?

Ideally, you would go to sleep, leave your pain behind, and wake up feeling great — with a brand new, beautiful smile. Total sedation is possible for some patients and some procedures, especially if you are extremely sensitive, anxious, or fearful of the dentist and have an easily triggered gag reflex. We most commonly use IV sedation when multiple procedures are required or when we’re dealing with a patient who is extremely distressed by what needs to be done.

However, the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology cautions against using total sedation with patients who have:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

For these patients, we may consider a form of conscious sedation, which will safely relieve anxiety.

What is conscious sedation, and is it safe?

Conscious sedation via oral pill or laughing gas puts patients into an altered state of consciousness that minimizes pain and discomfort. The patient can speak and respond to basic verbal cues, but will find it easy to rest and relax while the work is being done. A brief period of amnesia makes patients feel as though they are in a pleasant dream-like state. Just as with IV sedation, a dentist or qualified Registered Nurse will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen levels, and alertness throughout the procedure. Occasional side effects may include fatigue, nausea, headache, or limited memory.

What should I do before sedation dentistry?

We will give you detailed instructions regarding preoperative protocol, but generally speaking you should:

  • Arrange for someone to come with you to our office.
  • Take the day off work or schedule a half-day prior to the operation to allow for recovery.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything for 8 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Continue taking prescription medication, but avoid herbal supplements.

When can I drive after my procedure?

Patients who were sedated with laughing gas can drive as little as 15 minutes following their procedure. With IV sedation and oral sedation, you will need someone to accompany you to your appointment to drive you back home. For most patients, the effects of oral sedation last two to four hours. With IV sedation, some mental fog may persist for up to 24 hours, so you should not drive or operate machinery for the rest of the day.

What is recovery like?

We recommend that you go home and take it easy, avoiding any strenuous activity. Eat a light diet such as toast, soup, Jello, and smoothies. Avoid heavy, greasy, fatty foods. You may feel a little dizzy or nauseous following sedation, so have carbonated beverages on hand to alleviate these symptoms. Avoid alcohol or un-prescribed medications for the next 24 hours. Watching television or a movie and sleeping will help take your mind off any residual discomfort you may feel.

Does insurance cover sedation dentistry?

In some cases – such as periodontal scaling or root planing of all four quadrants – your insurance may cover IV sedation. Most often, the patient picks up the bill, which is why it’s so important to visit a place like our Long Island Sedation Dentistry office, where we do everything in-house and do not call in an outside anesthesiologist, which adds the cost. We are happy to discuss all possible payment methods and help you find the most affordable sedation option.

Long Island Implants and Cosmetic Dentistry

Patients choose our Suffolk County cosmetic dentistry practice for the following reasons:

  • Dr. Elliot is New York State certified in IV and PO sedation with many years of experience.
  • Our dentists are members of the American Dental Association and NYS Dental Association.
  • We offer three types of sedation – oral pill or laughing gas for conscious sedation, or IV sedation.
  • Our dentists are renowned for their bedside manner and truly understand the stress of dental procedures.
  • The financing department helps patients determine the most affordable method for sedation.

Call (631) 850-3145 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about sedation dentistry in Long Island.

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Jenn Fusion

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