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Sedation Dentistry – Carmichael, CA

Patient Comfort

The idea of undergoing oral surgery is enough to make even the bravest person feel nervous, and we completely understand! Dr. Ji and the rest of our team believe that patient comfort is extremely important, so to ensure everyone has a relaxing experience while under our care, we’re happy to offer a variety of sedation dentistry techniques. Safe, gentle, and proven to be effective, sedation can help even the most persistent worries float away on a river of calm. To learn more about your sedation options with us, feel free to give us a call any time.

Why Choose Sheng Ji, DDS, MD Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for Sedation Dentistry?

  • Patient Comfort Always Comes First
  • Surgeon Dual-Trained in Both Medicine & Dentistry
  • Warm, Friendly, & Highly-Experienced Team
  • Extensive Training in the Safe Administration of all Forms of Anesthesia

Nitrous Oxide Dental Sedation

Inside of gas mask

Nitrous oxide is so safe that it can even be used to help very young children, though it’s also effective for fully-grown adults. A patient simply inhales the odorless gas through a nasal mask to help them become more tranquil during a procedure. It only takes a few minutes for a patient to experience the effects, and once the appointment is over and the mask is removed, they quickly go away, allowing a patient to go straight back to their day without interruption.

Learn More About Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Oral Conscious Sedation

Patient taking sedative pill

For patients who experience mild to moderate anxiety associated with an upcoming procedure, Dr. Ji can prescribe them a medication to take at home the day of their appointment. The goal is for a patient to be sedated by the time they reach our oral surgery office so they feel comfortable from check-in to checkout. While in the chair, a patient will remain awake, but time will seem to go by very fast, and they will likely have fuzzy memories (if any) after their visit.

What Is Oral Conscious Sedation?

Smiling woman preparing to take sedative

One of the great things about oral conscious sedation is that it does not involve the use of needles or a face mask. All you have to do is take a pill prior to your appointment. Depending on a few different factors, you might be prescribed to take Valium, Ativan, Halcion, or another medication that helps the mind and body to relax.

Within a few minutes of taking the pill, you will start to feel calm and perhaps a bit drowsy. The effects may last for several hours — more than enough time for you to breeze through your procedure.

How Does Oral Conscious Sedation Work?

Patient with closed eyes, relaxing in treatment chair

Here are some notes on what to expect if you are a candidate for oral conscious sedation:

  • You should not drive while under the influence of sedation, so you should have a trusted friend or family member available to drive you to and from our office.
  • You will probably not remember your procedure after the effects of the medication wear off.
  • The sedation will not make you lose conscious, but it is possible that you will drift off to sleep during your appointment.

Are You a Good Candidate for Oral Conscious Sedation?

Smiling dental patient looking over her shoulder

Oral conscious sedation is a good fit for many patients who suffer from mild to moderate dental anxiety. It can also be a great option if you have a sensitive gag reflex, must undergo multiple procedures in a single appointment, or are undergoing a particularly complex or invasive treatment.

Oral conscious sedation might not be right for you if you are pregnant or have certain other health conditions. Our team will thoroughly screen you before prescribing any type of sedative.

IV Dental Sedation

IV sedation drip

With IV sedation, the sedative is administered directly into the bloodstream using an injection in the hand or arm. This helps a patient become deeply relaxed very quickly, and we can actually adjust the sedative level in real time to ensure someone feels comfortable moment to moment. This approach is typically recommended for patients who have severe anxiety and/or are in need of an extensive procedure.

Learn More About IV Sedation

General Anesthesia

Woman with eyes closed receiving dental treatment

General anesthesia is the most powerful form of sedation. It enables a patient to literally sleep through their appointment and wake up with absolutely no memory of what happened during treatment. This method is very helpful for patients with extreme fear, those who have neck/back problems that make sitting for an entire appointment painful, and those who want multiple procedures completed in a single appointment in order to save time and achieve results as quickly as possible.

What Is General Anesthesia?

Oral surgery team member holding mask used in general anesthesia

While other types of sedation may casually be referred to as “sleep dentistry,” general anesthesia is the only option that actually causes unconsciousness. It involves the use of both inhaled gases and medications that are administered through an IV. In some ways, it is similar to what hospitals use when patients must undergo major surgery. However, the general anesthesia used for oral procedures tends to be a bit milder.

When you are under general anesthesia, you will not experience any sensations and be unable to respond to outside stimuli.

Who Is a Candidate for General Anesthesia?

Doctor holding clipboard during patient consultation

General anesthesia is very powerful, so Dr. Ji does not recommend it for everyone. However, it is suitable for certain groups of patients. It might be right for you if:

  • You have a high tolerance for milder forms of sedation.
  • You suffer from extreme fear related to dental or medical procedures.
  • You must undergo a particular invasive or complex type of oral surgery.
  • You do not have any health conditions that would make it unsafe for you to be put under the influence of general anesthesia. Our team will thoroughly screen you for all such conditions during the treatment planning process.

Before and After General Anesthesia

Relaxed, smiling man in dental treatment chair

Here are a few notes to keep in mind about what you may experience before and after a procedure that requires the use of general anesthesia:

  • Prior to your appointment, you might need to temporarily stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners.
  • You may need to fast for several hours before your procedure. It should be fine to consume clear liquids until the last couple of hours before you are put under anesthesia.
  • When you wake up from anesthesia, you are likely to feel groggy and experience other side effects. Most people are feeling like themselves again within 24 hours.
  • While the general anesthesia is still in your system, it will not be safe for you to drive. A trusted adult should be available to drive you home from your appointment.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Portrait of curious woman who has questions about sedation dentistry

Dr. Ji and our team want to help you enjoy a positive experience in our office. We are ready and willing to talk to you about your sedation options so you can feel confident in your entire treatment plan. Before you call our practice to schedule a consultation, however, you may want to learn more about sedation dentistry in Carmichael on your own. To help you out, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions about this aspect of care. We hope you like what you learn!

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe? 

Sedation dentistry is safe for most patients. Before we approve you for any type of sedation, we will learn about your medical history, your current medications, and other factors that may have a bearing on whether sedation is appropriate for you. This careful screening reduces the risk that patients will suffer adverse effects.

While you are sedated, our team will carefully monitor you for any indications that something is amiss. On the small chance that something goes wrong, we are always ready to leap into action to provide the needed medical assistance. Dr. Ji is both a board-certified oral surgeon and a medical doctor, making him more than qualified to responsibly administer sedation.

Will I Remember Anything with Dental Sedation?

Whether you remember anything after your procedure will depend a lot on which type of sedation you receive. If you are put under general anesthesia, you will be unconscious and will therefore remember nothing. Although patients are technically conscious with IV sedation and oral sedation, post-op amnesia is a common side-effect. Amnesia is less common with nitrous oxide. Many patients are glad that they do not remember their oral surgeries; they dislike the sights and sounds of dental procedures and do not want to keep them in mind.

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

General anesthesia is the most expensive form of sedation because it requires complex monitoring equipment and a high level of training to administer. IV sedation also requires much expertise and may be somewhat costly. Oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide are more affordable, often costing just a few hundred dollars.

Our team will be sure to give you candid price estimates before you commit to anything. We can also help you apply for financing if you would like to pay for your entire treatment, including sedation, over time.

Is Sedation Dentistry Covered by Insurance? 

Most insurance plans consider sedation to be a luxury, so they do not cover it. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to stay still during dental treatments, your insurance policy may be more flexible. Also, if your procedure is particularly complex or lengthy, sedation might be deemed necessary and therefore be covered. Our practice welcomes dental insurance and will be happy to help you figure out how your policy applies to your recommended treatment plan.