Using sedation to improve your comfort during dental work.
Sedation medications are used to produce calmness or sleep in the dental office. Sometimes this is called Sleep Dentistry or Dental Sedation. There are different levels of sedation that can be performed in a dental office in order to make your experience more enjoyable. Sedation aids with anxiety, pain control, and post-appointment comfort. The ADA classifies sedation in four categories: minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia. In a dental office, the primary modes of sedation are minimum and moderate in nature.
Minimal sedation produces a minimally depressed level of consciousness. You can breathe normally. You can respond to touch and conversation. Although you may feel more relaxed and a little “sleepy,” you have no problem with any vital functions. Minimal sedation never delivers an unintended loss of consciousness. Minimal sedation is often used for routine procedures like fillings or crowns. An example is the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas).
Moderate sedation is achieved when a level of consciousness occurs that requires a “purposeful” response to verbal commands. Sometimes touch is used with verbal commands to elicit a response. No intervention is needed with breathing and vital signs usually remain normal. Patients may drift in and out of consciousness while under moderate sedation. Moderate sedation is used for more complex procedures like implant placement, bone grafting, and full mouth restorations. This form of sedation can be achieved with IV or prescribed medications. Moderate sedation was also called “Conscious Sedation.”
Deep sedation is when you are “knocked out.” You cannot be easily woken up, even by something painful. The ability to breathe on your own can be inhibited. Airways can collapse and your own ability to monitor oxygen is reduced. The heart can usually function normally. Deep sedation requires special training, often associated with a hospital setting. Because of the fragile nature of deep sedation, IV delivery methods are best.
General sedation is limited to a hospital type setting only.
For all levels of sedation, routine and constant monitoring of your vital signs is necessary. Throughout dental procedures, you should hear the monitoring equipment providing feedback to the healthcare professional supervising the sedation. Advanced emergency medical response training is required in the event of negative reactions. Specific medical equipment to manage complications is also required.
At Red Hills Dental, we provide our patients with FREE moderate sedation through prescription medications. We see excellent success with the medications we use to achieve sedation. In fact, several of our 5-Star Google reviews are from patients who are happy with their dental experiences while under moderate sedation. When we find it necessary to use IV sedation, we employ a very skilled Nurse Anesthetist who can focus completely on your state of consciousness while Dr. Bergman can focus on the rest of your care.
It seems counterintuitive to have the doctor who performs IV sedation, at the same time attempt to focus on complex surgical procedures. IV sedation has to be adjusted and changed as medications wear off during the procedure. A split focus during dental and surgical procedures does not serve you in the best way. When IV sedation is given, the charge is paid directly to the Anesthetist. Dr. Bergman does not profit from IV sedation. It is a service we offer solely for your benefit. As of January 2021, our Anesthetist charges $250 per hour for IV sedation.
The short answer is, No. Dental insurance does not cover sedation. Medical insurance may cover sedation but it is uncommon to find a dental office familiar with medical billing practices. In addition, laws regarding medical insurance require that the patient be charged in full if the insurance does not cover the sedation. Dr. Bergman does not see that as an acceptable risk. Although insurance does not provide benefits for sedation, we still want you to have a positive experience.
We, at Red Hills Dental, are trying to make it as easy as possible. By offering free sedation as noted above, we hope to ease your hesitations. We want you to have a good experience. We want you to feel comfortable. We want to help you move forward with your oral health and restoration. If you have any further questions about sedation in our office, please don’t hesitate to call. We would love to hear from you.
We strive to give every patient the comfort, care, and compassion that they deserve. Because of this, our practice has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the community.