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Anxiety-Free Care with Your Worcester Sedation Dentistry

With any major procedure, it’s understandable to feel some amount of anxiety. For many patients, anxiety is a serious obstacle to seeking help. At Handsman & Haddad Periodontics, P.C., we never want that to be the case. That’s why we offer two of the best sedation dentistry options currently available. With these solutions, we help patients overcome their anxious feelings and receive the vital treatment they need.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation uses a safe, commonly prescribed medication to create feelings of relaxation in nervous patients. On the day of your appointment, you’ll take the prescription shortly before arriving for your procedure. By the time we’re ready to begin, you’ll feel comfortable, relaxed, and anxiety-free. Because the effects of your sedation will take time to wear off, you’ll need to have a friend or family member with you to drive you home. You’ll be free to return to your normal activities by the next day.

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IV Sedation

Patient with IV sedation in WorcesterIf you’re like most people, undergoing any kind of dental procedure can induce anxiety, worry, and fear. Even if you’re equipped with all the necessary information beforehand, there is still an element of the unknown. Fortunately, at Handsman & Haddad Periodontics, P.C., we provide a service designed to reduce anxieties while also ensuring greater comfort. With the help of IV sedation in Worcester, our dental team can improve your oral health while you have an easy-going, more relaxing experience. To find out if you’re eligible, contact us today.

What is IV Sedation?

IV sedation in Worcester

IV sedation is a service that is offered to patients with severe anxiety or who require multiple or extensive dental procedures. More invasive than nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, it is administered via the hand or bend of the elbow. The solution then enters the bloodstream and begins to take effect within minutes. You can expect to enter a deep state of relaxation, and you may even fall asleep. Throughout your procedure, your sedation dentist in Worcester will monitor your vitals (i.e., oxygen, temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate).

You will be required to have someone escort you home after your treatment is complete because the effects take time to wear off.

Who Administers IV Sedation?

Dental team member in Worcester

We are dedicated to providing you with outstanding anesthesia services with safety as our number one priority. IV sedation is administered by a board-certified dentist anesthesiologist. Having a dentist anesthesiologist present for your sedation allows Dr. Handsman and Dr. Jenny to focus solely on the dental procedure while your safety and comfort is maintained to the same monitoring standards and equipment as used in a hospital setting.

Who is a Good Candidate for IV Sedation?

Patient receiving IV sedation in Worcester

To determine if you are a good candidate for IV sedation, you will need to meet with your periodontist in Worcester. Typically, patients who are preparing for invasive and lengthy procedures are ideal candidates for this type of sedation. It is also a good option for those with extreme dental anxiety, have a sensitive gag reflex, or have difficulty getting numb through other methods of sedation and anesthesia.

You will need to discuss your medical history and any medications you are currently taking with your periodontist to ensure there will be no allergies to the IV solution or potential complications.

The Benefits of IV Sedation

Woman smiling after IV sedation in Worcester

If you are concerned about the idea of undergoing IV sedation for your upcoming procedure, you should know there are many great benefits you can expect, such as:

  • Its relaxing abilities make it possible to prevent additional traumatizing dental memories that might keep you from returning to the dentist.
  • Its effects come on quickly, so you’re not left feeling fearful long after you arrive for your appointment.
  • Your dentist can control how much medication is flowing through the IV during your procedure, unlike with oral conscious sedation.
  • It is capable of improving your oral health because it reduces the fear of receiving treatment.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Woman undergoing sedation dentistry in Worcester

Feel a bit unsure about sedation dentistry in Worcester? You’re not alone. Many patients like the idea in theory, but when it comes to receiving it for an upcoming procedure, they may feel hesitant. Fortunately, Dr. Handsman and Dr. Jenny are here to provide clarity about the process of receiving oral conscious or IV sedation and will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you have. Below is a list of common questions asked by previous patients. As you review this information, please contact us with any additional inquiries you might have.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Sedation dentistry is safe for most patients; however, it is vital that you first talk to your dentist about your medical history and any current medications you are taking. There are certain situations that may require you to seek alternative forms of sedation or wait until a later date to pursue treatment (i.e., pregnancy). When receiving oral conscious or IV sedation, you can expect our team to monitor your vitals (i.e., blood pressure, oxygen, heart rate) to ensure you remain safe throughout the procedure.

Will I remember anything with dental sedation?

Although you are cognizant throughout your procedure, you will unlikely remember much, if anything. When receiving IV sedation, most patients tend to forget about their dental visit, whereas oral conscious sedation may cause you to remember a few things here and there. This temporary amnesia makes it possible for individuals who are fearful of the dentist or who have had traumatic past experiences to pursue treatment with greater ease. 

What are the risks of sedation dentistry?

Our team will do everything we can to ensure your safety while undergoing sedation dentistry; however, there are always potential risks involved. The most common include those caused by taking certain medications while receiving oral conscious or IV sedation, as the two may negatively interact with each other. Also, if you struggle with sleep apnea, you may have difficulties with sedation. Certain side effects can range from nausea and fatigue to severe headaches. This is why it is important that you do not disregard any information concerning your medical and healthy history when talking to your periodontist in Worcester.

Is sedation dentistry worth it?

Although many dental insurance companies may not offer coverage for sedation dentistry, it can certainly be worth the investment if your anxiety is keeping you from seeking regular dental care. What you will pay for IV or oral conscious sedation will be significantly less than an extensive procedure that involves addressing a serious dental problem and requires tooth replacement and regular maintenance. At our dental office, we understand any type of treatment can be costly, which is why we have a partnership with CareCredit to allow for flexible financing when uninsured or need assistance paying for your care.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe While Pregnant?

The medications used in sedation can pass through the placenta and affect a developing baby. For that reason, sedation is not recommended for pregnant women. If your need for a procedure is non-urgent, it would be best to wait until after you give birth to undergo it.

If there is an urgent situation, it would be best to forgo sedation. Local anesthesia is safe for pregnant women and their developing babies, so you should still be able to enjoy somewhat comfortable treatment.

What Does It Feel Like to Be Sedated at the Dentist?

The sensations that come with sedation depend on which type of sedation is being used. With oral conscious sedation, you may be very drowsy and relaxed. You might feel “heavy” and perhaps even drift off to sleep. IV sedation feels similar to oral conscious sedation, but it can produce even more powerful effects.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

The cost of sedation dentistry depends on a few factors, including the amount and type of sedative that is used. IV sedation usually costs more than oral conscious sedation.

In most cases, insurance considers sedation to be elective, so your policy may not cover it. However, your plan is more likely to help you pay for sedation if you are undergoing a complex or extensive surgery, or you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to sit still during dental procedures.

If your insurance will not pay for your sedation, you may be able to finance it — and your entire procedure — with CareCredit.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry? 

Sedation dentistry may be suitable for you if:

  • The idea of undergoing dental procedures makes you feel anxious or fearful.
  • You have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to sit still for an extended period of time.
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex.
  • You are not easily numbed with local anesthesia.
  • You must undergo a complex or lengthy dental procedure.

How Long Does Dental Sedation Last? 

Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation tend to last for at least several hours after a procedure. In fact, it may take up to 24 hours for the medication’s effects to completely dissipate. In the meantime, you may feel groggy. It would be wise to avoid driving or other activities that require fast reflexes while you are waiting for the sedation to finish wearing off.